Dominant Out to Earn Guineas Berth

A Caulfield Guineas start is on the line for Dominant on Sunday when the lightly-raced youngster contests the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).

The three-year-old made himself known as a potential Guineas contender when running a narrow second first-up in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) last month before running fifth to Jimando in the Henry Bucks Stakes (1400m) on September 8.

Trainer Matt Laurie is predicting a big future for the horse but admits he will have to be right in the mix this weekend to warrant a start in the main event on October 13.

The son of Not A Single Doubt is one of nine horses named to contest the Guineas preview event that will also feature Golden Rose winner Epaulette and third placegetter Ashokan.

“It’s pretty strong competition but he’d want to be pretty close to them in the finish for us to be confident enough to make that next step,” Laurie said.

“This weekend is a bit of a test as to whether he’s good enough yet or if we have to look for something a little bit weaker.”

Laurie said there was plenty of merit in the Henry Bucks performance where Dominant was forced to work hard early from a wide barrier.

“He might have had to do a bit of a work early in the race but I was still really happy with the run,” he said.

“He ran out of his skin first-up when he wasn’t quite fit and second-up it might have taken a bit out of him.

“But he’s certainly made good improvement since then.”

Nick Hall returns to the saddle to ride the son of Not A Single Doubt from barrier one, a draw Laurie admits could see him require some luck in running.

“I would probably want something in front of us,” he said.

“So I’d say we’ll get back on the fence a bit and it might mean we need a bit of luck in transit but if it’s run at a genuine tempo we should get our chance.

“Nick rode him at Moonee Valley in the McKenzie so he’s obviously an asset.”

But if Dominant’s time doesn’t come this spring, Laurie is confident he will get his chance on the big stage given the talent he has shown in his three starts to date.

“He’s only a young three-year-old and still learning. He’s a big, scopey horse who I think has a real future especially as he gets up a bit further in distance.”

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