Wide Prelude draw ideal for Royal Symphony

A wide draw at the 1400m start at Caulfield is usually considered a nail in the coffin, especially in a feature race.

But trainer Tony McEvoy could be happier with barrier 12 for Royal Symphony in the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude on Sunday.

The draw represents the second widest with only the Peter Gelagotis-trained Levendi outside Royal Symphony.

After a debut win at Pakenham, Royal Symphony recorded back-to-back wins at Flemington in the middle of the year before a break.

He returned at Flemington on September 16 and overcame a torrid run to remain unbeaten.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn was locked away on the inside aboard the colt and was only fully clear in the final 200m.

At his previous outings Dunn had the three-year-old out in clear galloping room.

“Barriers are key in this business but the way his style is I would rather him be second last on the outside than second last on the inside,” McEvoy said.

“This draw now allows Dwayne to be where he wants to be, whereas if you draw inside you are dictated to.”

McEvoy elected Sunday’s race over Friday night’s Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley because of the shorter trip.

He didn’t want to flatten the colt ahead of his Group One target, the Caulfield Guineas on October 14.

“The first-up run tightened him up as it needed to,” McEvoy said.

“We’ve worked him solid but haven’t galloped him hard as he’s staying at the same trip.

“He’s eaten. He’s bright and ready to go back to the races.”

Royal Symphony has been a drifting favourite since the opening of betting, easing from $1.70 to $2 with second pick Kementari firming from $7 to $5.50.

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