The 2011 Australian Guineas final field and barrier draw has been released with a star-studded line-up of three-year-olds booked for the Flemington feature this Saturday, March 5.
A capacity field of 16 starters plus four emergencies have been accepted for the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) this year making for the ultimate mile showdown.
Early favourite in the 2011 Australian Guineas betting markets has been Kiwi filly and multiple Group 1 winner in New Zealand, We Can Say It Now.
However in a blow for the Murray & Bjorn Baker-trained We Can Say It Now, the daughter of Starcraft has drawn wide with barrier 12.
Still, We Can Say It Now has the form to suggest she can overcome the wide draw having won at Group 1 level over the mile from as far out as gate 15 in recent starts and benefits from having star hoop Craig Williams in the mount for Saturday.
Also, connections include co-trainer Baker were hoping We Can Say It Now would draw a little wider as her size means she benefits from a little extra room for racing.
Australian Guineas odds on the Neville Parnham-trained Playing God are sure to be slashed at bookmakers around the country including Luxbet after the talented Blackfriars colt drew ideally with barrier three.
Due to be ridden by Hong Kong-based jockey Brett Prebble for the Guineas, Playing God has won five of their past six starts including the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in December and the Magic Millions Pert 3YO Trophy (1400m) first-up this season on February 12.
Other horses that came up trumps in the 2011 Australian Guineas barrier draw include:
- Run For Levi (barrier one) – John Thompson’s Hussonet colt ran second in the Caulfield Guineas last spring but has had three disappointing runs so far this year including their last-start ninth behind Bullbars in the Group 3 CS Hayes (1400m) from the inside barrier
- Dusty Star (barrier two) – General Nediym gelding won the Group 2 D’Urban Stakes (1400m) on February 12 at Caulfield bringing them into Australian Guineas contention before running seventh in the CS Hayes last start, drops back in weight for the Guineas
- Enjin Number Nine (barrier seven) – Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained gelding one-time favourite for this race after beating Bullbars by 2 ½ lengths in the Listed Manfred Stakes (1300m) two starts back but was fourth in the CS Hayes last start
Unbeaten South Australian filly Southern Speed will be a big market drifter after drawing the far outside barrier 20.
The daughter of Southern Image claimed her third successive win on February 19 earning a free pass into the Australian Guineas field with an upset victory in the Group 3 The Mittys Vanity (1400m).
She still could be a good Place Bet on Saturday, but her wide barrier draw in a Group 1 against such strong company rules Southern Speed out for the win in our opinion.
Stablemate, the fellow Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained Spirited Eagle has also drawn unfavourably wide with barrier 14.
The Not A Single Doubt gelding has show promise this season running a close second in the Listed Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in January before placing third behind Bullbars in the CS Hayes Stakes from barrier 12 last start.
Another notable Australian Guineas acceptor is CS Hayes winner Bullbars drawn in barrier 11 and likely to start one of the favourites having defeated a number of their Guineas rivals last-start after jumping from gate 15.
The 2011 Australian Guineas is scheduled as Flemington Race 6 for Saturday.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest Australian Guineas 2011 field and betting updates and our insider race tips later in the week.
Betting markets on the three-year-olds’ showdown have been briefly suspended after the field announcement making now the perfect time to open your Luxbet account and get ready for the action!
2011 Australian Guineas Field, Barriers & Weights
|#||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|1||ANACHEEVA||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||16||55.5||108|
|2||PLAYING GOD||Neville Parnham||Brett Prebble||3||55.5||110|
|3||STARTSMEUP||Bruce W Hill||Paul Hammersley||17||55.5||89|
|4||MR CHARD||Dean Lawson||Steven Arnold||13||55.5||97|
|5||RUN FOR LEVI||John P Thompson||Craig Newitt||1||55.5||96|
|6||HOLLOWLEA||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Nicholas Hall||4||55.5||96|
|7||BULLBARS||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||11||55.5||93|
|8||DUSTY STAR||Peter Morgan||Darren Gauci||2||55.5||96|
|9||SPIRITED EAGLE||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Danny Nikolic||14||55.5||89|
|10||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Lee Freedman||James Winks||6||55.5||76|
|11||UNDER THE EIFFEL||Tony Vasil||Mark Zahra||10||55.5||81|
|12||ECLAIR SURPRISE||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||15||55.5||82|
|13||ENJIN NUMBER NINE (NZ)||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damien Oliver||7||55.5||86|
|14||SHAMROCKER (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Glen Boss||9||53.5||94|
|15||WE CAN SAY IT NOW||Murray & Bjorn Baker||Craig Williams||12||53.5||100|
|16||SOUTHERN SPEED||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Clare Lindop||20||53.5||91|
|17e||GOLDSTONE||Bart Cummings||Michael Rodd||18||55.5||72|
|20e||ABSOLUTELYAWESOME (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Glen Boss||5||55.5||72|
Photo courtesy (c) Taron Clarke Photography