Three-year-old Yu Long Sheng Hui has been put on notice ahead of the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
The Mick Price-trained colt won at Wodonga and Caulfield as a late-season two-year-old but turned in a below-par performance when he beat one runner home in a Listed 1400m race at Flemington two weeks ago.
After that race, jockey Damien Oliver suggest the colt would race better as a gelding.
His performance on Saturday in the 1400m Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude will be defining.
“He is fighting for his existence as a colt,” Price said.
“He was terrible the other day. We have a bit of difficulty with him at Caulfield – he has to be led out onto the track. He doesn’t give me the impression that being a colt is what he needs.
“But I’ve put blinkers on him, Stephen Baster will ride him and we’ll give him a dig out of the gates and give him less to think about and see how we go.”
Yu Long Sheng Hui is at $41 while stablemate Hardham is at $19.
Price was pleased with Hardham’s Danehill Stakes seventh over 1200m and he steps up to a more suitable distance on Saturday when he’ll be on trial for a Caulfield Guineas start.
Price believes he’ll hit the line well, and whatever he does this spring expects he’ll be better again next preparation.
“What may be against him is he’s only a spring three-year-old and he’ll be better in the autumn,” he said.
“I think he’ll be a lovely horse in the autumn.”
Star Godolphin colt Astern was ruled out of the Guineas Prelude when he had to be treated for an elevated temperature on Sunday, shelving Caulfield Guineas aspirations for the Golden Rose winner.
Godolphin will still be represented in Saturday’s Prelude by Danehill Stakes runner-up Archives.
His jockey Craig Williams said Archives raced a bit keenly in blinkers for the first time early in the Danehill but was taken by the way he was still solid late in the race.
“He does have an awkward barrier draw but he is a horse that feels to me that he’ll keep stepping up to the plate,” Williams said.