Profondo primed for Australian Guineas tilt
A week ago, the prospect of Profondo being one of the headline acts of tomorrow's $1 million Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington seemed not just remote but almost impossible.
The Richard Litt-trained Group 1 winner was scheduled to return at Randwick on the same day and was not even entered for the three-year-old feature in Melbourne.
However, Sydney's wild weather forced a change of plans with the resuming colt. A $37,500 late entry fee later, Profondo was bound for Victoria, arriving at Flemington after a 12-hour float trip this morning.
"We're very pleased with him," Litt said this morning after Profondo's arrival. "He came off the track bouncing and he's had a couple of hours now to rest, he's good.
"He's rock hard fit, he's ready to go. He's the type of horse that doesn't need a run going in, he puts a lot of effort into his work at home and we feel that we've got him right. We've tested him this way of going and he handled it fine, he's a pretty sensible horse."
Profondo received the proverbial visitor's draw for tomorrow's Australian Guineas, allocated barrier 15 for the feature, but Litt was unfazed and expressed complete faith in the three-year-old's regular rider Robbie Dolan, who also makes his Flemington debut.
"That's probably Robbie's problem, not mine, I'll leave it up to him as he knows him very well," Litt said. "I don't think it's a bad thing. I think he'll just find his feet, hopefully there's a bit of speed and he can land where he's comfortable.
"Hopefully he gets around that corner and there's that big, long straight so he's got plenty of time to get there."
Profondo, a $1.9 million yearling two years ago, made a splash in the spring by rising from maiden winner to Group 1 hero in the space of just five weeks. His victory in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) hinted at the inate ability possessed by the Deep Impact colt.
"To get to the 2000m at his third start and to win a Group 1 was a huge effort and that's when we knew that he had a lot of talent," he said. "Maybe he should be three from three, but he made a little error in the Gloaming, but he's a wonderful horse and we're lucky that he's one of the expensive ones that has turned out to be any good.
"Early on, we just gave him plenty of time so we hadn't really tested him out yet. Obviously, the owners were getting anxious but they are wonderful people, the Gallettas, they put no pressure on."
While Melbourne racegoers would love to see more of Profondo in action, the Australian Guineas is likely to be a hit-and-run cameo for the colt with a return to Sydney imminent.
"He will go home on Sunday night and then will get ready for a Rosehill Guineas and then a Queen Elizabeth or a Derby," Litt said. "Those are our plans, we're just hoping that the weather fines up."
Profondo is rated the $4.60 favourite by TAB, just ahead of Penfolds Victoria Derby winner Hitotsu at $4.80.
Image caption: Australian Guineas contender Profondo surveys his new surroundings at Flemington this morning.