Trainer Jean Dubois aims at Champagne

Guerrier wins at Hawkesbury, April 5, 2018. Source: Bradley Photos

Jean Dubois has high expectations for Guerrier as the colt prepares to emulate stablemate Aylmerton by taking on Group One opposition.

The Goulburn trainer has six juveniles in work, and now a second will attempt to make his mark in elite company.

Guerrier makes the leap from a maiden win at Hawkesbury to the Group One Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick, a potential stepping stone to the J J Atkins Stakes in Brisbane during winter.

This season has been memorable for Dubois, whose first metropolitan win in February with Mate Story was then surpassed by Aylmerton’s exploits in the Group Two Todman Stakes.

Aylmerton’s victory in the Todman secured him a start in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) a fortnight later, when the colt finished 10th behind Estijaab.

Guerrier opened his career in style over 1300m at Hawkesbury and he now tackles 1600m against a field likely to include Slipper runners Seabrook (5th) and Long Leaf (6th).

Dubois is relaxed as Guerrier makes the step up to the elite level.

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“Three months ago I didn’t think Aylmerton would be in the Slipper, either” Dubois said.

“I think he’s a good horse and for sure he can do the mile. He kept going after the line in Hawkesbury, that tells me he needs a bit more distance.

“There’s not so many races over the mile for two-year-olds so this is the time to try.”

Ideally Guerrier will acquit himself well and then head to Brisbane with the Group One J J Atkins Stakes (1600m) in mind at Doomben in June.

If he goes well tomorrow he could go to Brisbane. There’s good mile races up there,” Dubois said.

Apprentice Jean Van Overmeire rode Mate Story and Aylmerton when they won their first races in Sydney, and he retains the ride on Guerrier after getting him home at Hawkesbury on April 5.

Guerrier was a $21 chance with the TAB on Tuesday while Seabrook, who was fifth in the Slipper, led the market at $4.60 for Caulfield trainer Mick Price.

Surprise Sires’ Produce Stakes winner El Dorado Dreaming was rated a $9.50 chance.