Peter Moran’s improving three-year-old Dusty Star furthered their 2011 Australian Guineas claims with an impressive win at Caulfield on Saturday in the Group 2 D’Urban Stakes.
In a stunning all-the-way victory, General Nediym gelding Dusty Star ($7) defeated $2.60 favourite Under The Eiffel by a length in the D’Urban Stakes and is now on target for the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5.
It was a thrilling run from Dusty Star, jockey Craig Williams unable to hold the eventual winner back, letting him run out to a five length lead in the early stages where they set a frantic pace.
The speedy display saw Dusty Star win in a time of 1:22.5, just one second outside of the track record set by the great Exceed And Excel.
Saturday’s success saw Dusty Star shoot up the Australian Guineas odds at Luxbet, now the $12 fourth-favourite.
Dusty Star originally opened as a $201 chance in the pre-post Australian Guineas betting markets, but at $12 still represents excellent value.
Beaten favourite Under The Eiffel was brave in defeat, connections now considering paying the late Australian Guineas entry fee to get the Mossman gelding into the field.
D’Urban Stakes third-placegetter Eclair Mystic is also Guineas bound, paying around $31 in the markets.
Connections will give Dusty Star one final lead-up before their run in the Guineas hoping the shorter time between starts will help calm down the gelding and give him the pace to last the mile.
Last year’s Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva remains the $9 favourite to win the Australian Guineas, despite their first-up seventh in the Listed Zeditave Stakes at Caulfield on January 26.
Other early Australian Guineas favourites include dual Group 1 winner Star Witness ($10) and Enjin Number Nine ($11).
The Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Enjin Number Nine burst into Australian Guineas contention after winning the Listed Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on February 9, where Star Witness ran third first-up for the season.
Other Australian Guineas hopefuls that ran in the D’Urban Stakes on the weekend include Roadtrain (fourth), Eclair Surpsie (fifth), Servant (sixth), Hollowlea (seventh) and Run For Levi (eighth).
The 2011 Australian Guineas first acceptances will be taken tomorrow cutting down the number of hopefuls from the 165 nominees.
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au to be the first to see the list of Australian Guineas first acceptors.
To get in on the generous early Australian Guineas odds, head to Luxbet now.