Connections of Rich Enuff will be just that should their colt secure his fourth straight win and claim the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas on Saturday. Not only will they take the lion’s share of a $1M purse, but Rich Enuff’s value as a commercial stallion will sky-rocket as the leading studs across the land come calling. Successful stallions such as Redoute’s Choice, Show A Heart, and Lonhro have all taken out the Guineas whilst budding sires All Too Hard (2012) and Starspangledbanner (2009) have won it more recently. Rich Enuff is $2.70 favourite for the race, just in advance of Looks Like The Cat ($5.00) and Gai Waterhouse’s Almalad ($7.00). Waterhouse has finished second in the past two runnings of the Guineas with Pierro and Divine Calling – both of whom, like Almalad, were coming off strong wins in the Bill Stutt Stakes. The only other runner under double figure odds is Shooting To Win ($6.50).
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1. OUR VESPA – C Williams (14)
New Zealand galloper who made it five wins from seven starts when winning the Listed Westbury Stud Stakes in his homeland first up off a six month spell. He then made the trip to Australia for the G3 Guineas Prelude (1400M) where from the inside gate, he found a nice spot in the run on the leader’s back but when looking for a rails run in the straight, was tightened badly on the fence and stumbled noticeably. Can forgive him for last start but meets some of the best Australian 3yo’s here and has drawn wide.
2. ALMALAD – T Berry (13)
Gai Waterhouse’s charge didn’t enjoy the heavy conditions first up in the G3 Run To The Roses and wasn’t asked for a great deal late. He then lined up in the G1 Golden Rose (1400m), run on a firmer ground, where he found a nice spot in the run behind the pace. He did well to finish fourth behind Hallowed Crown, Scissor Kick and Shooting To Win, all of whom closed from well back in the field and down the centre of the track. He then gave his trainer her third straight Bill Stutt Stakes after he found the perfect spot from a good draw, recording a strong 1.8 length win in defeating Moonovermanhattan. Draw doesn’t look good on paper but might be able to track Rich Enuff, who jumps from ten and will go forward, across and find a spot on the pace. Hard to ignore his price given his record.
3. RICH ENUFF – M Rodd (10)
Created quite an impression first up at Moonee Valley when leading throughout to win the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) in smart time by 2.3 lengths and has backed that up with two equally as impressive runs since. He led up the straight and found when challenged to defeat Looks Like The Cat in the G2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington before leaving his opponent with no excuses when winning the Guineas Prelude by 2.3 lengths. Form is outstanding for a race like this and should be able to find the front without burning too much petrol. The one they have to run down.
4. SHOOTING TO WIN – J McDonald (8)
The Northern Meteor colt has continued to improve with each run this campaign and backed up his excellent third in the G1 Golden Rose, with a dominant three length win in the G2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m). Enjoyed a nice run throughout in the small field last start but was strong through the line, extending well over the final furlong and the mile appears to be right up his alley. First go Melbourne way, particularly around the tricky Caulfield circuit, is a concern but if he makes his way around with no drama, he’ll be steaming home and involved in the finish.
5. ZULULAND – D Oliver (3)
After winning the G2 Sire’s Produce and running second in the G1 Champagne Stakes first prep, connections would’ve been keen to see their son of Fastnet Rock return for this campaign. However, four starts in, despite a promising first up run in the G3 Vain Stakes, he hasn’t lived up to those expectations and has finished seventh in each of his last three starts, the most recent of which was in the G2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m). Has a good draw and Oliver aboard but needs to lift considerably on recent outings to be winning this one.
6. CHIVALRY – G Boss (12)
Returned after a promising 2yo campaign with a big win in the McNeil Stakes (1200m), storming home to defeat Nordic Empire by a head. He then finished strongly again in the Listed Living Legends (1400m) at Flemington but found Merion a lip too good before drawing the inside gate and getting too far back in the G3 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m), finishing sixth of nine, 3.4 lengths behind Almalad. He’ll be giving plenty of smart ones a head start as they turn from home and will be hoping for a strong speed up front.
7. LOOKS LIKE THE CAT – D Browne (9)
His only win from six starts came on debut in an Eagle Farm 2yo race however, the Husson gelding hasn’t missed a place in five subsequent runs, all of which have been at Group level. First up, having his first start outside of his home-state of Queensland, he pushed Rich Enuff to a head in the G2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) before chasing him home again for second, this time in the G2 Guineas Prelude. Good effort from mid-field last start and whilst he is right in the mix, he’ll again be giving Rich Enuff a start turning for home and is meeting him 2.5kgs worse than last meeting.
8. KUMAON – K McEvoy (2)
Like the above runner, Kumaon’s only win from eight starts came on debut in a Rosehill 2yo race but he too has run some bold races since in seven subsequent starts, recording four places at Group level including his most recent run in the Stutt Stakes (1600m). He was slowly away from a wide gate but circled the field rounding the turn to finish well for third (2.2 lengths) behind Almalad who had enjoyed the box seat throughout. His previous start over a mile also resulted in third placing, this time to Go Indy Go in the G1 Champagne Stakes. Might run a cheeky race from an inside draw and would love to see some cut out of the track.
9. MERION – S Arnold (4)
Won both of his first two race starts, including the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1410m) before returning off a seventeen week spell with a fourth (4.9 length) behind Rich Enuff in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley. Took good benefit from that run and made it two from two over the 1400m at Flemington when digging deep late to deny Chivalry by a whisker in the Listed Living Legends (1400m). Should find a good spot here from four just behind the speed but will also find this tougher than his last outing.
10. MOONOVERMANHATTAN – C Newitt (7)
Stuck on well from a handy position second up in the Listed Living Legend Stakes (1410m) to run fourth (1.2 lengths) behind Merion and Chivalry before overcoming some tightening on the turn to finish second (1.8 lengths) behind Almalad. Improving with each run and this will only be his fifth career start. He’ll be finishing hard but gives the impression he may need more ground than this again.
11. STINGRAY – M Zahra (11)
Raced with little luck in both the G3 Vain Stakes and McNeil Stakes when second (to Get The Nod) and fifth (to Chivalry) respectively but had the right run to do more than he did when sixth (4.2 lengths) to Rich Enuff in the G2 Danehill Stakes. His most recent outing was another worrying effort which saw him settle near last from a wide gate in the G3 Guineas Prelude but never raise his connections’ hopes, finishing eighth and over seven length from Rich Enuff. Has a lot to turn around.
12. LUCKY TOM – R Jamieson (6)
Queensland galloper who found the stronger opposition in the G3 Guineas Prelude a fortnight ago much too tough, running eleventh and over nine lengths from Rich Enuff. Hard to see him making the significant required improvement needed to figure here.
13. ZEBULON – S Baster (15)
Rattled home first up off an eight week spell to claim third (1.1 lengths) behind Merion and Chivalry in the Listed Living Legends before having no luck in the Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at his following start. Draw an inside gate in the Stutt Stakes and when looking for a way off rounding the turn, found nothing be trouble and became unbalanced at the 100m and took part in the race thereafter. Is a promising horse but will have to be more than that to win from the widest gate here.
14. WANDJINA – D Dunn (5)
Only win from eight starts came on a slow track in a Warwick Farm restricted race earlier in the year. After a good fourth, when closing from last on the turn, behind Rich Enuff in the Guineas Prelude, the Snitzel colt started favourite in last week’s Listed Vintage Stakes (1400m) but from a wide gate, got too far back and finished seventh (4.7 lengths) behind Stratum Star. This will be the third consecutive week that he’ll line up for a run and that’s a challenge in itself but on the Guineas Prelude run and from a good draw, wouldn’t have thought he’d be the rank outsider of the field.
Pace should come from wide out here but Rich Enuff, Almalad and Our Vespa, should find it easy enough. Hard to find a chink in the armour of Rich Enuff. He takes up a spot, cruises along at a good speed and gives a kick when asked for an effort. Tracking him every step of the way should be Almalad. Connections would’ve been worried with the gate initially but with Rich Enuff drawing ten, their concerns would’ve eased. Only question mark over Shooting To Win for mine is the Caulfield circuit. He likes to wind up and the turn at Caulfield has brought many a good horse undone however, if he stays on the right leg, he’ll be steaming late. Value runners – Moonovermanhattan and Kumaon.
- RICH ENUFF
- SHOOTING TO WIN
- LOOKS LIKE THE CAT