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Focus back on Coolmore for Kiwi colt

12 October 2017, 1:27 p.m.

A horror gate 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 Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and following due diligence they have decided to bypass the $A2 million feature.

Summer Passage Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

“It’s just too hard from out there in a race like that,” said Lance O’Sullivan, who prepares the son of Snitzel with Andrew Scott.

“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 Gr.3 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield next Wednesday as a lead in to the Gr.1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) 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 Gr.2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) in his three-year-old debut before a last-start second in the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).

The colt won last season’s Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) and was runner-up in the Gr.1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m). – NZ Racing Desk.