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Prelude to confirm colt’s spring programme

29 September 2017, 1:56 p.m.

Crunch time is looming in Australia for the Group One performer Summer Passage.

The Matamata-trained three-year-old’s performance in the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on Sunday will decide his immediate future across the Tasman.

Summer Passage Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

“It’s a crash-hot field and we’ll know exactly where we are after the race,” said Lance O’Sullivan, who prepares the Snitzel colt with Andrew Scott.

“He’ll be telling us whether we press on to the Caulfield Guineas or maybe the Coolmore.”

Last season’s Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) winner and Gr.1 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) runner-up at Randwick finished a last-start eighth when he resumed in the Gr.2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

“The run was a lot better than it looked,” O’Sullivan said. “He was a bit lost down the straight and Mark Zahra had to take a hold of him when Limestone fell.”

Summer Passage, who will again be ridden by Zahra, has taken benefit from the outing.

“He’s doing really well and we’re pleased with him,” O’Sullivan said. “He’s gone ahead and put on a bit of weight.”

Meanwhile, on the domestic front the stable was further encouraged by the debut performance at Avondale on Wednesday of the highly-rated three-year-old Aero De Paris.

The son of Tavistock overcame the heavy ground to finish a close second after making the running.

“He’s a very smart horse and he’d only had one 800m trial,” O’Sullivan said. “He never left an oat after that, he’s got a good constitution.

“We’ll give him a couple of weeks off now. I’m sure we’ll see the best of him next year.”

Aero De Paris is owned by the Hong Kong-based Daniel Yeung, who also raced the New Zealand-bred Aerovelocity, an international Group One-winning sprinter for O’Sullivan’s brother Paul. – NZ Racing Desk.