Exciting middle distance and staying prospect Gwydion gets the opportunity to emulate the Group 1-winning feats of her superstar litter brother Sennachie in Monday night’s Hume Cup Final (600m) at The Meadows.
Gwydion, which like dual Group 1 winner Sennachie is trained by Steve White, has shone since stepping up to 600m, winning five from nine, including a dominant Hume Cup heat victory last Saturday, and finishing runner-up on the other four occasions.
However, White is finding it difficult to separate Gwydion and ex-Queenslander Chief Fernando ahead of the highlight event at The Meadows’ traditional Melbourne Cup Eve meeting.
“I know Gwydion has been in Sennachie’s shadow but she’s a very good bitch,” White said.
“But I give Chief Fernando a big chance, only because he’s a lid-pinger.”
In last weekend’s heats Gwydion started $2.70 favourite in the last of five qualifiers and after railing to the lead early in proceedings she was never in danger of defeat, powering clear in 34.31s, just outside her 34.29s personal best.
“Gwydion was always going to 600m but after I took her to Brisbane (Group 3 Flying Amy Classic) and she was running second or third going into the bend and got absolutely belted I decided that was it,” White said.
“She’s had nine runs over 600m now and hasn’t finished any further back than second.
“After the Hume Cup I’ll try her over further and see if she can get 700. I think she can and her run home times suggest she will. She’ll go close to leading over 700.”
“He (Chief Fernando) was only two-hundredths outside Dyna Patty’s first split record and ran 21.73s up the back, which is hum-dinging” – STEVE WHITE
After having his first 20 starts in Queensland, Chief Fernando was making only his sixth appearance for White and first over 600m since relocating to Victoria in the Hume Cup heats.
Chief Fernando ($4.50) flew out from box three to lead easily but was run down late by the exciting True Detective in a best of night 34.20s.
“He ran 34.37s himself, which would have won three other heats,” White said.
“He was only two-hundredths outside Dyna Patty’s first split record and ran 21.73s up the back, which is hum-dinging.
“He came down to Victoria in the middle of winter and I think it took him a while to acclimatise to the colder weather but his last two runs have been enormous. He’d had one run over 600m in Queensland and won.”
Jeff Britton’s fastest qualifier True Detective is the $2.30 favourite with TAB after drawing box one, with Gwydion (box 3) and Chief Fernando (box 5) the only other runners at single figure, marked at $4.40 and $4.80 respectively.
“I know who’s stronger,” White said.
“I think there’s improvement in Chief Fernando but he needs to lead and break them up.
“The way Chief Fernando has been jumping I’m hoping he’ll be out high-balling and he strings the field out, which will give Gwydion the chance to run him down.
“If Gwydion is in front of True Detective I don’t think he could run her down and it’ll be the same if he’s in front of her.”
WATCH: Gwydion (4) leads all the way in her comfortable Hume Cup heat win.
WATCH: Chief Fernando (3) showed lightning early pace before being run down by True Detective in the quickest Hume Cup heat.
PHOTO: Gwydion wins a heat of the Hume Cup in 34.31sec, a time inferior only to True Detective on the night. Photo by: Jason McKeown.