Last season’s beaten Blue Diamond Stakes favourite Jacquinot has hit the ground running as a three-year-old, with the impressive colt overcoming hot favourite Aft Cabin to win the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
In an enthralling encounter where the first two colts had to make their way through the field, Damian Lane guided Jacquinot to a decisive victory to displace Aft Cabin as Caulfield Guineas favourite.
Sportsbet promoted Jacquinot to $6 favourite for the October 8 Guineas, with Aft Cabin easing out to the second line at $9.
Starting at $5.50 on Saturday, Jacquinot burst down the middle of the course to win by one-and-a-half lengths from Aft Cabin ($2 fav), with a length-and-three-quarters to $50 chance Tijuana in third place.
Lane said after that Jacquinot has taken a big step from his two-year-old career.
“He’s just really learning all the time and he took great experience from that first prep, having to try and re-educate him jumping out of the barriers, little things like that has really set a good solid foundation for him,” Lane said.
“This time in he seems more switched on. He seems more relaxed and he knows what it’s all about. Hopefully his attitude stays as good as it is now and it’s not his last victory of the spring.”
Co-trainer Michael Kent Jnr said it was obvious before the race that Jacquinot was poised to perform well.
“In the Blue Diamond here last year against all those colts he was the most immature horse – scopey, leggy and yet to furnish – but in the yard today he’s really filled out and you could tell,” said Kent Jnr, who trains in partnership with Mick Price.