Five years after having odds-on favourite Rich Enuff edged out in the closing stages of the Group One Caulfield Guineas, trainer Ken Keys is happy to fly under the radar with his latest chance Soul Patch.
Keys came close to registering his first Group One win when Rich Enuff started the $1.80 favourite in the 2014 Guineas after three convincing stakes races wins in the lead-up.
But the front-running colt just failed to hold out the challenge from Shooting To Win in the Guineas over 1600m and finished second by a neck.
Keys has only had one Caulfield Guineas starter since, with Al Passem unplaced when a $151 outsider two years ago, and the Cranbourne trainer heads into Saturday’s $2 million 1600m Caulfield Guineas for three-year-olds with Soul Patch who is the least experienced runner in the Caulfield Guineas field while emergency Groundswell has also only had three starts.
“They are two totally different types of horses,” Keys said of Soul Patch and the former Guineas favourite Rich Enuff.
“He was pure power and aggression.
“This guy is a very relaxed horse. You’ve basically got to wake him up and he’s got a better racing style.
“But I just don’t know how good he is.
“I think what he has shown so far we’ve got to be a little bit keen on being competitive.”
Soul Patch represents Keys’ latest chance for a first Group One and he is happy to go into the race without the hype and expectation of five years ago.
Soul Patch was $16 in Saturday’s Caulfield Guineas odds on Wednesday and confirmed plans to head there with a last-start midweek city victory at Flemington over 1420m on September 25.
He won on debut at Ballarat in March before a fast-finishing second over 1300m at Sandown in his return from a spell earlier in September.
“He’s on the way up and he’s an unknown. That’s to us and everyone, I guess,” Keys said.
“I know it was a maiden but he won his first race start like a good horse and it was a good form race.
“So there were no negatives to not have a crack at a decent race.
“His first-up run was everything we could have asked for, other than winning. And then we won at Flemington so we should be here.”
Dwayne Dunn, who has ridden Soul Patch in his two spring starts, sticks with him in the Guineas.
First emergency Exeter gained a start on Wednesday in the capacity field after the scratching of Creator.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au