Trainer Mike Moroney hopes Alabama Express can win the Australian Guineas in Melbourne while Randwick Guineas plans for Harlech will become clearer after an important gallop in New Zealand.
Moroney saddles up Alabama Express in Saturday’s $1 million Australian Guineas at Flemington, with the colt trying to add a Group One against his own age after winning the Group One C F Orr Stakes against older horses.
Trans-Tasman trainer Moroney has Harlech in line for a Randwick Guineas start but a gallop in New Zealand on Saturday morning will help determine whether he makes the trip across.
Harlech has won at Group Two level in New Zealand and finished second in two Group Ones, to Catalyst in the NZ 2000 Guineas and Travelling Light in the Levin Classic.
He has had a short break after running fourth in the Karaka Million 3YO (1600m) last month, won by Probabeel.
“He’s in the Randwick Guineas and he’s booked to fly on Tuesday to run,” Moroney said.
“But we’re going to do a bit with him on Saturday.
“He’s had a bit of a break and he’s got behind a little bit and if he doesn’t work well enough we won’t come over.
“He disappointed in the Karaka Mile and just pulled up really tired so we gave him a quick break. It’s just whether we’re happy with him and if not we’ll put him in the paddock and wait for the four-year-old season.”
Alabama Express takes on a field including Alligator Blood and Catalyst in the G1 Australian Guineas and Moroney believes there is not much between the leading contenders.
But he was hoping for a better draw than six of eight.
“We’re mapped to possibly get the worst run in the race which is a bit worrying,” he said.
“We got away with it in the Orr. It ended up that he had a tough run but he was still too good.
“Hopefully it ends up the same way.
“He does fly the barriers so I presume he’ll do that and we’ll surge forward to a degree and just see what happens inside us.
“We’re just going to have to try to get in and get a bit of luck.”