Catalyst (outside) finishing a close second to Alligator Blood in the C.S. Hayes Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)
Australian Guineas co-favourite Catalyst could chase Cox Plate glory in the spring, with trainer Clayton Chipperfield suggesting on Tuesday that the gelding displays all the hallmarks of a genuine 2000-metre horse.
While Chipperfield is focused on preparing the son of Darci Brahma for two of the biggest mile races on the Australian calendar in the next three weeks - the Guineas and The All-Star Mile - he's already given thought to Catalyst's potential spring campaign.
"At this stage his best distance is a mile, but I'd love to see him over 2000m, which hopefully we'll get a chance to do next time around," Chipperfield told RSN927's Racing Pulse.
"If he's good enough we'll possibly look at the Cox Plate.
"Hopefully we'll have a crack over the 2000m in New Zealand and if it's not his distance we can have a look at The Golden Eagle."
Chipperfield confirmed that Catalyst will work under jockey Damian Lane at Mornington on Wednesday before tacking Alligator Blood, Alabama Express and Chenier in Saturday's three-year-old showpiece at Flemington.
Catalyst and Alligator Blood share Guineas favouritism at $2.70 with BetEasy, ahead of Chenier ($5) and Alabama Express ($7).
"Damian is coming in the morning to gallop him," he said.
"He came and rode him before the C.S. Hayes so it's going to be good to get his opinion but personally I think he's come forward and I'm picking Damian will think the same.
"I'm not saying we'll win the Guineas but now that we meet Alligator Blood at level weights over a mile - his best final 600m was over a mile - if we can get a decent draw and a sit in the one-one I think we can beat him."