A great collection of 3yo’s has come together for what is the highlight of the Randwick card this Saturday, the Group 1 Randwick Guineas. New Zealander Trainer Murray Baker will be hoping Atlante can give him back-to-back victories in this race after It’s A Dundeel won the race last year. Altante is second favourite after an impressive performance in the Hobartville Stakes at $5.50 behind another New Zealand representative El Roca, who tops the market at $4.00. Indicated just how deep the quality of this field goes, a further seven runners in the race are currently quoted at or below $15.00.
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1. DISSIDENT – J Cassidy (13)
Peter Moody’s galloper broke through for a much deserved win last start claiming the G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) by a head over Atlante. He took up a more prominent position than normal, sitting outside of the leader before finding plenty under the urgings of Cassidy in the run home. Will have to come from back in the field on Saturday after drawing poorly but the son of Sebring is yet to run a poor race in his ten starts. The step up to a mile will be a bonus as will, what should be a solid pace.
2. EL ROCA – J Bowman (14)
A smart New Zealander galloper who won the Listed Eskimo Prince (1200m) in good style first up from a spell with Dissident, who went on to win the Hobartville at his next start, running second. El Roca was too also run in the Hobartville but was sensationally withdrawn the morning of the race by Stewards. The change to his program saw him take on the older horses last week in the G3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) where he ran a head second to promising Terravista. A good effort last start and mixed it with the leading three year olds last spring. Despite the poor draw, he has to be rated a chance.
3. CRITERION – C Reith (8)
David Payne’s colt returns home to Randwick after two slashing runs at Flemington in the G3 C S Hayes Stakes and G1 Australian Guineas. He has finished hard from worse than midfield in both runs to claim fourth (2 ½ lengths) and second (1 length) respectively. The son of Sebring is ticking over very nicely and whilst 2000m would appear to be ideal at this point of his preparation, he cannot be dismissed.
4. ATLANTE – G Schofield (5)
The Fastnet Rock colt never looked entirely comfortably on the slow track when making his Australian debut a fortnight ago in the G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m). Settling midfield on the fence from his inside draw, he was scrubbed up leaving the 500m but was still making ground along the fence and ran Dissident to a head on the line. He has won the Listed NZ Canterbury Stakes and G1 2000 Guineas in New Zealand, both on good track and leading from the front. Will be able to take up a similar position her from gate five and looks hard to beat.
5. EUROZONE – G Boss (4)
Returned to racing in the C. F. Orr Stakes (1400m) and finished well to get within a nose of Moment Of Change, with Shamus Award third. He then contested the G1 Australian Guineas and sat second to Shamus Award in the run who led the field. Had his chance in the Guineas but was not disgraced in finishing fourth (1 ¾ lengths) behind Shamus Award. It was his first go at a mile and he’ll be better for that experience. Drawn ideally here which should see him positioned to advantage throughout the run.
6. SAVVY NATURE – J McDonald (6)
He placed in the G1 Champion Stakes (2000m) last spring before comfortably winning the G2 The Vase at Moonee Valley and then after failing in the VRC Derby, was sent for a spell. Trainer John O’Shea brought him back in the G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago and would’ve been pleased with what he saw. The son of Savabeel was doing his best work late, hitting the line to claim third behind Dissident and Atlante. Second up over a mile is ideal but from gate six, see him in a bit of traffic and in need of an uninterrupted run home.
7. BULL POINT – D Oliver (9)
Returned with a good win in the G3 Manfred Stakes, defeating Worth A Ransom, The Quarterback and Prince Harada. That effort saw him start 11/8 favourite in the WFA C. F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at his next and most recent start where, despite having every chance in the run, he missed a place and finished fourth to Moment Of Change. Form from the Manfred hasn’t quite lived up to expectations and expected better from him last start but a look back through his efforts last spring, which includes a third to Zoustar and Dissident in the G1 Golden Rose, means you can’t rule him out.
8. ROMANTIC TOUCH – D Browne (15)
He started his career like a potential world-beater, winning the G1 J. J. Atkins Stakes (1600m) at only fourth start and defeating Zoustar in the process. The Gai Waterhouse trained galloper though hasn’t lived up to the expectations that were created by that win, and the son of Northern Meteor has been only fair in two runs back from a spell. He ran third (2 ¾ lengths) in the Listed Eskimo Stakes (1200m) first up before leading during the run and then battling in the straight, when sixth in the G2 Hobartville Stakes Needed to see more from him last start and the gate won’t help him find form in this race.
9. WOODBINE – T Berry (11)
Well bred promising type from the Waterhouse yard who had won three of four before taking on a better class of horse in the G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago. Plenty thought the son of Hussonet would handle the rise in grade easily enough as he stepped out the 5/2 favourite. He settled toward the tail of the field and made good ground out wide to run fourth, 1 ¾ lengths behind Dissident. That was his first run for a month and first look at rain effected going. He’ll be better again stepping up to a mile and on a firmer surface and would not have to make much improvement to go better again here.
10. KOROIBETE – B Avdulla (3)
A promising young stayer who had won three of six before a brief nine week spell at the end of last year. The Kheleyf gelding also returned in the G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago but found the 1400m at that level too slick, finishing second to last and 3.6 lengths from Dissident. He can only be better for that run but would think he still has too much improvement to make to be rated among the leading hopes here.
11. HOOKED – B Shinn (2)
The Casino Prince gelding ran fourth in three G3 and the G1 Champion Stakes from four runs during his spring campaign. He returned with an average fifth of six in the Listed Eskimo Prince (1200m) but showed no improvement at his next start in the G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m), finishing last and 4.2 lengths from Dissident. Both of his runs back have been on slow grade but even on a better surface and a good draw, find it hard to include him in the selections.
12. TERONADO – C Newitt (1)
After finishing third of four behind Woodbine in an unsuitably run race first up from a spell, Gold Coast Trainer Bruce Hill took his son of Testa Rossa down to Flemington for a tilt at the G3 Colin Hayes Stakes. Teronado enjoyed the step up in distance and the long Flemington straight, to flash home from last to run fifth (2 ¾ lengths) behind Hucklebuck. He went closer again producing a similar run, in the G1 Australia Stakes, finishing better than any other runner in the race to run fifth again, 1 ¾ lengths from Shamus Award. Has really been hitting the line the last two starts and would expect here to be no different, as Randwick and the tempo of this race should suit. The only query being how far back, or how much luck he’ll need, from the inside gate.
13. SHOW THE WORLD – N Rawiller (7)
High Chaparral gelding who won a Tearoh Maiden (1600m) in New Zealand at his second start and two starts later, claimed the G2 Championship Stakes (2100m) on New Year’s Day. Hasn’t started since that run but couldn’t have asked for more from him in his four starts to date and trainer knows what kind of animal it takes to win the big races in Australia however, he does face a big challenge being his first start in nine weeks and against a quality collection of 3yo’s.
14. TUPAC AMARU – (12)
Only win from his seven starts to date is a Ballarat Maiden but he did place second in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) before running a credible fifth in the VRC Derby behind Polanski. His only run since that race came two and half weeks ago in a BM 72 at Kensington where he closed well from near the tail of the field to turn third (3 ¾ lengths) behind Traitor. Big jump in class to here from there and would think he’d be well handled over a mile by this calibre of horse.
15. SINGLE FLAME – J Collett (10)
He cracked his maiden status at his most recent run, his eighth start, with a ¾ length win in a Hawkesbury Maiden. The son of Song Of Tara is eligible for much easier races than this and will start her a big price.
What a great edition of this race. Some quality horses engaged here that we’ll see go on to better things in the coming seasons. It hasn’t been an ideal preparation for El Roca but each of his four Australia runs have been very good. He is drawn wide here and will need a touch of luck early to find a suitable spot in the run but has one of the best in the business onboard in Bowman. Third up and with a run over the mile under his belt now, would think Eurozone, who has drawn ideally, is capable of running a bold race. Three of the past five winners have come out of the Hobartville Stakes and therefore, couldn’t exclude Dissident, how has draw poorly but can race back, and Atlante, excellent first up from a spell and first Australian start, from the placings. There’s a number of live chance in this race however with Woodbine and Criterion, both attracting plenty of attention at double figure odds.
- EL ROCA
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