A LESS-than-ideal barrier draw has delayed Summer Passage’s quest for an Australian Group One title.
Connections were dealt a blow when the Matamata-trained colt was allotted the outside gate for Saturday’s Group One Caulfield Guineas and following due diligence they have decided to bypass the $2 million feature.
Trainer Lance O’Sullivan said the team did not believe their galloper could win from the wide draw.
“It’s just too hard from out there in a race like that,” O’Sullivan said.
“I spoke with his owner and he’s obviously disappointed, but understood how tough it would be so we’re going back to our original plan.”
Raced by the Hong Kong-based Eugene Chuang under his Hermitage Thoroughbreds banner, Summer Passage will now run in the Group Three Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield next Wednesday as a lead in to the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on November 4.
“He’s got a good record over the shorter distances so we don’t think it’s a problem and Hugh Bowman will be riding him in the Blue Sapphire,” O’Sullivan said.
“I’ve spoken with Andrew, who’s over there, and the horse is really well. He’s kicking his heels up and feeling fantastic.”
Summer Passage ran eighth in the Group Two Danehill Stakes in his three-year-old debut before a last-start second in the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
The colt won last season’s Group One Sistema Stakes and was runner-up in the Group One ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes.