Hugh Bowman knew before Tuesday that he was on the favourite for Saturday’s Caulfield Guineas, but a trip to the scene of the $2 million Group 1 only heightened his confidence.
Bowman not only had his first feel of the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained colt, but also had an important chat with the woman who knows him better than most.
Dalasan had a Caulfield course proper gallop in blinkers, which will be applied on Saturday, and Bowman said he did not feel any of the traits that have cost him the perfect record.
That’s not to suggest he is not prepared for them.
“He worked in company – I worked with one of Mick Price’s and Raquel, his regular rider, actually rode the partner – and she knows him well and I got the opportunity to have a good chat to her and get to know him a little bit,” Bowman said.
“He was very straightforward, there were no quirks this morning, but I’m certainly ready for them when he shows them.”
Dalasan heads into the 1600-metre Guineas – in which he will start from barrier 18 – off a second placing in the Group 3 Prelude (1400m), when ridden by Raquel Clark, during which his waywardness in the straight appeared to cost him victory.
It was a similar story the only other time he has tasted defeat, in the G2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes earlier this year when Craig Williams was aboard.
The son of Dalakhani won the G2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) prior to the Prelude, but Macdonald felt he was not fully concentrating on that occasion either and thinks the time is right to pull the trigger on blinkers.
“I think both in the Danehill and in the Prelude he just tended to float around a bit,” he said.
“When Raquel did ask him for an effort he hung in behind them a bit and took a look of getting off and I just think the blinkers will switch him on a little bit and Hughie’s obviously a powerful rider as well.
“It could be what he’s looking for.”