Kentucky Flyer will take his place in the Caulfield Guineas after a wide draw and warm weather forced a change of plans for the Victoria Derby aspirant.
The three-year-old was scheduled to run in the UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Sunday but trainer Robbie Laing pulled the pin when he drew the outside barrier.
Laing also had concerns about Sunday’s hot weather and with the colt still among the Guineas entries he decided Saturday’s Group One race was the better option.
“The wide draw and the 30 degrees was haunting me right from when acceptances came out,” Laing said.
“He couldn’t win from barrier 19 so we decided to stay home.
“He might have run a nice fourth or fifth but this way he gets to run in the Caulfield Guineas and you only get one chance at that.
“He’s only coming back a furlong (200m) so he’ll have a bit of a light week.”
The change in plans has forced an amendment to Kentucky Flyer’s lead-up program to the Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 31.
He was to head to the Caulfield Classic (2000m) on October 17 after the UCI Stakes which was the path taken by the Laing-trained 2013 Victoria Derby winner.
Kentucky Flyer will instead go to the Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley a week later on October 24, seven days before the Derby.
“He’ll go to the Vase and then the Derby, that will be the hardest part of his preparation,” Laing said.
A first-up winner of a Cranbourne maiden, Kentucky Flyer was then successful over 1500m at Moonee Valley on September 5 before finishing sixth behind fellow Guineas contender Tarzino over 1600m at Caulfield on September 19.
Kentucky Flyer is a $51 chance in Guineas betting with Press Statement the $2.30 favourite ahead of Ready For Victory at $8.
The final field and barrier draw will be announced on Tuesday.