Trainer Patrick Payne has his eye on the Caulfield Guineas with Cherry Tortoni

Trainer Patrick Payne and the betting markets are on the same page when assessing Cherry Tortoni’s chances in Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).

Cherry Tortoni was high in the Caulfield Guineas betting when notching three straight wins to start his career during the winter but TAB now has the colt as a $21 chance in the latest Guineas market.

TAB hasn’t completely ruled out Cherry Tortoni as a winning chance in the $2 million event and neither has Payne, despite the fact the three-year-old’s main spring goal is the Victoria Derby at Flemington.

“I’m not sure that he’s a winning chance in the Caulfield Guineas but it just fits well into his program,” Payne said.

“He’ll then go into the (Moonee Valley) Vase and then onto the Derby.”

Cherry Tortoni finished strongly for second to Glenfiddich in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at The Valley last time out but Payne said he’d like a different set of circumstances to prevail in the Caulfield Guineas.

Cherry Tortoni’s trainer Patrick Payne would like a strong early speed for his charge in the Caulfield Guineas. Photo: Jenny Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Glenfiddich dominated the Stutt Stakes from the front. Payne said a higher level of early pressure would suit the gelding, who doesn’t quite have the early speed of many of his Caulfield Guineas rivals.

“He came through the Stutt in excellent condition,” Payne said.

“More pressure up front will help him if the leaders don’t get a picnic.”

Payne said he was thinking about taking Cherry Tortoni to Caulfield for a gallop on Tuesday morning but said the son of Night Of Thunder had a good fitness base for Saturday’s feature.

“He’s fairly forward because he didn’t have long off in his (winter) spell so his fitness levels are really good,” Payne said

“He might go to Caulfield on Tuesday morning to have a look around but he’s very easy to train and maintain.”

Originally published asTortoni Cherry ripe for Guineas

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