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One of the year’s final Group race features for three-year-olds is the 2011 Sandown Guineas this Saturday which has drawn a full field of 16 hopefuls.
Scheduled to run as Sandown Race 7 at 4:10pm (AEDT), the $350,000 Group 2 Betfair Sandown Guineas (1600m) is shaping up as a class race between some very promising youngsters including early favourite Galah.
Prepared by Darley’s No. 1 trainer Peter Snowden, Redoute’s Choice colt Galah has been the picture of consistency over their five-start career to date saluting in their last four races.
After a narrow win over Masthead in the Listed Australia Stakes (1400m), Galah was last seen nudging out Highly Recommended in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes over the Flemington mile on Victoria Derby Day when wearing winkers for the first time, Snowden to keep the winkers on for Saturday.
“I won’t change a thing going into Saturday,” Snowden said.
“The only thing about him was that he was a bit dour as I think he is looking for more ground.
“I’ve kept him fresh since winning the Carbine Club Stakes, so hopefully he will be ready to go again for 1600 metres, but I think next autumn his best form will be over 2000 metres or further.”
With form over the distance, an excellent record and the ideal barrier four draw Galah is the definite rank horse in the 2011 Sandown Guineas and will likely open in odds-on territory again in the Luxbet markets.
Snowden will be dually represented in the Sandown Guineas this year having also accepted for his improving Lonhro gelding Mental.
The three-time winner comes off a close fourth place finish in the Listed Hilton Hotels Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last Saturday where they jumped form barrier 12 of 14, and they have again drawn double-digits for the Guineas set to start from gate 11.
Hilton Hotels Stakes winner on Emirates Stakes Day, the Mick Price-trained Instinction is also set to back up in the Sandown Guineas.
The in-form Exceed And Excel colt seeks their third win on the trot but has suffered an early blow drawing awkwardly in barrier 13 with Craig Newitt retaining the ride.
Price will also be represented in the Sandown Guineas by the lightly-raced Saint Etienne who has drawn well with barrier three.
Spinning World three-year-old Saint Etienne has had three starts to date, most recently finishing a quarter length away third to Galah in the Carbine Club Stakes, and will be ridden by Crown Oaks-winning hoop Danny Nikolic.
“Instinction is the better chance of the two at a guess but you never know,” Price said of his Guineas hopes.
“He (Instinction) was a good winner last Saturday and he’s on the way up.
“He’s bounced back really well from the run.
“Saint Etienne was beaten only a short half-head and a half-neck behind Galah in the Carbine Club and (Galah) will probably start favourite.”
“He’s a one-batter but he’s tough and he is worthy of his place in the field.”
Price seeks his second success in the Sandown Guineas having prepared 2007 winner Schilling.
Last-start Mornington winner Westsouthwest is Price’s third Sandown Guineas entry, to have the inside running from barrier one should they start.
Other notable Sandown Guineas 2011 acceptors include Hilton Hotels Stakes runner-up Mahisara (barrier five) and third placegetter Amah Rock (barrier eight), Gai Waterhouse’s Victoria Derby failure Niagara (barrier 16) and the Peter Moody-trained Covered In Class (barrier 14).
All of the Sandown racing odds for Saturday including the Sandown Guineas betting markets will be released at Australia’s ace online bookmaker Luxbet shortly.
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2011 Sandown Guineas Field, Barriers & Jockeys
Sandown Race 7 – 12/11/2011
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|2||11321X32||MAHISARA||Paul Messara||Michael Rodd||5||56.5kg||86|
|3||42483X3704||GRAND BRITANNIA||Robbie Laing||Hugh Bowman||15||56.5kg||74|
|4||173X3432||HIGHLY RECOMMENDED||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||9||56.5kg||78|
|5||5X68X211||INSTINCTION||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||13||56.5kg||78|
|6||11X33||AMAH ROCK||Peter Morgan||James Winks||8||56.5kg||84|
|8||6X32X81224||FIRST COURSE||Ken Keys||Dwayne Dunn||7||56.5kg||72|
|9||42X2130||NIAGARA||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||16||56.5kg||74|
|10||1453X182||COVERED IN CLASS||Peter G Moody||Brad Rawiller||14||56.5kg||68|
|11||213||SAINT ETIENNE||Mick Price||Danny Nikolic||3||56.5kg||70|
|12||15X156||RED RAIN||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chris Symons||6||56.5kg||68|
|13||224X1||SO SWIFT||Bill & Symon Wilde||Craig Williams||2||56.5kg||64|
|14||5X1||WESTSOUTHWEST (NZ)||Mick Price||–||1||56.5kg||62|
|15||9X4061||KING’S SHILLING||Jim Mason||Jamie Mott||10||56.5kg||60|
|16||5||KOBE QUEEN||Judy Mawer||Ms Lisa Cropp||12||54.5kg||57|
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