Dwayne Dunn described barrier 9 as ‘better than 17’ for Royal Symphony and firmly believes punters will see ‘a sharper horse’ when the colt lines up in Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Tuesday’s barrier draw at The Heath saw plenty of pace drawn wide in the 16-horse $2 million feature.
Summer Passage, who led them up in the Prelude, drew the outside in gate 17 (emergency to come out), while The Mission, whose lone Group 1 victory saw him establish a loose lead in the Champagne Stakes during the Sydney autumn, bagged gate 11.
With more pace expected this weekend, Dunn said that can only be a positive for Royal Symphony.
“He produced the fastest last 600m in the Prelude. The race basically didn’t pan out for him,” Dunn said.
“We were disappointed not to be able to keep his unbeaten record intact but the way this race is likely to be run, I think it’ll suit him a lot more.”
Royal Symphony showed when resuming at Flemington his ability to ‘suck-up a fast tempo and still finish off’ according to Daily Sectionals data.
Unfortunately, the Prelude was a race run at a muddling tempo in parts and the Tony McEvoy-trained galloper was left with too much work to do.
“The winkers will sharpen him up, he’ll be ready for whatever unfolds this weekend,” Dunn added.
“I guess the barrier is better than 17 and he’s a horse that takes a few strides to wind up.”
The jockey suggested the race was ‘more open’ than punters may think and highlighted a runner from the Prelude.
“A horse like Levendi is 20-1 and like us, had no chance in the Prelude,” he said.
“He’s drawn much better this week and is a live chance.”
Levendi’s trainer Peter Gelagotis sent his brother and racing manager Manny to the draw.
“We’re very happy with barrier 7 as he’ll be closer in the run and we know he’s got a big finish on him,” he said.