Declarationofheart (Image: Racing Photos)
The tight, turning track might not be ideal for Declarationofheart, but the established link to the ATC Derby via Friday night's Alister Clark Stakes at The Valley has meant the gelding will remain in Victoria a little longer.
Over the past three seasons, it has been the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes over 2040 metres rather than the Rosehill Guineas eight days later has been the successful recipe for many ATC Derby candidates and assistant trainer Sam Freedman said on Tuesday that fact was crucial in determining the autumn program of Declarationofheart.
"It has been a really good race for derby horses and it means that he can stay at home for that little longer before he gets up to Sydney," Freedman said after Declarationofheart galloped at The Valley for the first time on Tuesday morning.
"We were looking at the Rosehill Guineas but we decided to go this way and although he was only doing 14s (14 seconds for each 200 metres), he looked to handle it pretty well this morning.
"Obviously he has been screaming out for the mile-and-a-quarter and it will be good to get him there for the first time."
Declarationofheart turned in some of the quickest final sectionals in the 1600-metre Australian Guineas at his latest start, indicating the Alister Clark distance and that of the ATC Derby (2400m) is going to suit the veteran of just seven starts.
WATCH: Declarationofheart's Australian Guineas run
Declarationofheart is likely to be joined in the Alister Clark by the ATC Derby's new favourite, Global Exchange, with other derby hopefuls such as Stars Of Carrum, Declares War, Cossetot and Alessandro also likely to go through Friday night's $200,000 race.
The Alister Clark Stakes has a fine recent record into the derby in Sydney.
Last year, Cliff's Edge beat Levendi, who went on to score a famous derby victory and in 2017 Hardman followed his win at The Valley with a third placing in the Sydney Derby.
The 2017 Alister Clark runner-up Ruthven ran fourth in Sydney before winning the Queensland Derby and being sold to Hong Kong, while the third placegetter, Farson, was also sold immediately to Hong Kong.
In 2016, Tally went from winning the Alister Clark to finishing third in the ATC Derby after upsetting the Australian Guineas winner Palentino at The Valley.