Caulfield Guineas showdown for Diamond-winning colt

Upbeat after a feature two-State double, Natalie Young has warned punters to overlook Blue Diamond Stakes winner Tagaloa at their peril in Saturday’s $2 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.

Winless in four starts since his Diamond triumph in February, the talented colt has run well in two runs this preparation, including a narrow defeat in the McNeil Stakes before a close-up sixth against older horses in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

Young said Tagaloa, who will be ridden by Craig Williams on Saturday, has improved steadily through this campaign.

“I’m really happy, he did a nice piece of work on Saturday and Craig is coming on Tuesday to have a sit on him, have a gallop and hopefully put the final touches on him,” Young said.

“I’m rapt with the way he’s come through that last run (Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes).

“I keep watching the replay, He wasn’t far off them and through the line he was pretty good.

“Don’t forget about him yet.”

Jockey Michael Walker and trainer Natalie Young with Tagaloa winning the Blue Diamond Stakes. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images

Tagaloa ($11) is on the fourth line of betting for the Guineas with Crosshaven behind Ole Kirk ($4.50), Kings Legacy, Mo’Unga (both $6) and Glenfiddich ($7).

Young, who trains in partnership with Trent Busuttin, was elated with the performance of Mirage Dancer to win The Metropolitan.

“It was amazing,” she said.

“We thought ‘Group 1, Sydney, he goes on that leg’ and it’s $700,000 so we thought ‘why not?’

“Nash (Rawiller) just gave him a peach of a ride and he had a nice draw for a change. It’s amazing.

“We thought the Turnbull would have been a bit stronger and we just thought that we want to chase that Group 1.

“He’s a Frankel stallion and he’s now a Group 1 winner in Australia. We were just mindful of that, trying to get a Group 1 on the way through to the Caulfield Cup.”

Nash Rawiller on Mirage Dancer wins The Metropolitan. Photo: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Rawiller believes the import can emerge as a genuine Melbourne Cup contender.

“We probably haven’t seen the best of him since Caulfield Cup Day (2019),” he said.

“On that he has got to go around in the Melbourne Cup and be a genuine chance.

“You get on these type of horses and you don’t really know how they are going.

“Obviously Trent told me that he was spot on but until you get on and canter to the gates you don’t know what you are going to feel but when I got to the 600m on the way to the gates I thought wow I’m on a nice horse here.

“He’s different class.”

Damien Oliver has been confirmed as Vow And Declare’s rider in the Caulfield Cup on October 17.

William Pike has been booked to ride Port Guillaume for Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes.


Originally published asOverlook Tagaloa in the Guineas at your peril

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