Strong 2023 Caulfield Guineas hand for Maher and Eustace

The Golden Rose has become the go to race when assessing form for the Caulfield Guineas, but a two-year-old race in Brisbane during the winter has also been a good reference.

Militarize is a deserving favourite for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday following his win in the Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill last month, however less than two lengths behind was a Group 1 winner in Brisbane during the winter, the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained King Colorado.

Victorious in the JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm in June, King Colorado follows the Chris Waller-trained pair of Press Statement (2015) and The Autumn Sun (2018) who also won that Brisbane race before going on to claim Guineas success.

Maher said King Colorado had been set for Saturday’s race and will appreciate the rise in trip to the 1600m of Saturday’s race.

“They probably didn’t go a solid enough gallop for him last start in the Golden Rose, but he was very good through the line,” Maher said.

“His target has been the Guineas ever since he came into work.”

King Colorado was joined by stablemate Scentify in a gallop at Caulfield on Tuesday.

It will be King Colorado’s first start in Melbourne and Maher is not subscribing to any theory about Sydney-trained horses not handling the Caulfield track.

“It’s a beautifully cambered track and he seemed to handle it seamlessly,” Maher said.

“He hasn’t done a lot of work left-handed, but he’s a very adaptable horse. He’s had a couple of nice hit-outs down here and worked pretty well.

“He’s a quality horse heading to a quality race. He’ll be third-up and hopefully hitting his peak.”

Maher received a glowing report from jockey Ben Allen who partnered Scentify in Tuesday’s gallop, and said if you were to go on trackwork, that galloper would have the measure on King Colorado.

Set for a spring campaign after winning on debut at Warrnambool during the May Carnival, Scentify led up the gallop and responded well when challenged.

Scentify was a last start third to Steparty in the Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 23.

“Ben Allen was really taken by him,” Maher said of the gallop.

“He said he felt amazing. He switched off and when the other horse came to him, he quickened up.

“He just felt the other horses were a little wide on the track for him to get that competitiveness in the Prelude. They got him on the hop he thought last start.

“If you were to go on their work, maybe Scentify, but King Colorado is a pretty casual sort of horse that save his best for race day.”

Maher and Eustace will also be represented by Southport Tycoon, a last start second in the Guineas Prelude, and Griff, who scored in the Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 29.

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