A Group 2 assignment during the Festival of Perth Racing at just their fourth start as a maiden? The odds are certainly stacked up against Graham Yuill’s three-year-old First Flight heading into the WA Guineas 2011 at Ascot this Saturday, but the Dardanup-based horseman believes they are a worthy competitor in the classic.
Set to run as Ascot Race 7 at 3:05pm (local time) on Saturday, the $350,000 Group 2 Sky Racing WA Guineas (1600m) field currently features 13 hopefuls, one of which is Yuill’s Flying Pegasus gelding First Flight.
Yet to win a race in their three starts to date, First Flight’s closest finish so far was their third over 1200 metres at Bunbury on October 20, the youngster last seen running fifth in a 1500 metre Ascot Handicap on November 9 in a run hampered by interference near the 600 metres.
Both of these runs came after First Flight was transferred from the stables of Frank Maynard to Yuill’s operation, Maynard having overseen the galloper’s debut run when sixth to WA Guineas rival Red Hot Sax ($19 Luxbet) in the Westspeed 2YO Plate (1100m) at Ascot back in February.
On Saturday Yuill throws them into the deep end for the 2011 WA Guineas over the mile, First Flight to face a crack field of more promising and experienced rivals including Luxbet’s $2.50 favourite Ron’s Call seeking their fifth straight success.
Still, Yuill is hopeful that his $17 chance First Flight can run a good race and finish top five to share in some of the prize money, fifth place taking out $8,750 while sixth – eighth receive $5,250.
“After his last run I still don’t know how good he is,” Yuill said.
“He’s shown he can run home, but it is a huge jump in class.
“We’ve got nothing to lose, that’s the main reason for starting him.
“He was turned sideways last start and I’m hoping luck goes our way this time.
“I’d like to think he can run a nice race and finish in the top five.”
First Flight is due to jump from barrier five with Yuill’s daughter, apprentice jockey Kyra Yuill in the mount.
Other top fancies in the WA Guineas this year include Trevor Andrews’ Belgravia Stakes winner King Saul ($3.40), Fairetha Stakes runner-up to Ron’s Call last-start Shining Knight ($5.50) and the Neville Parnham-trained Al Maher filly Almachino ($13) coming off a close third in the Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m).
Get in on the WA Guineas action and check out markets for the two Group 1 races at Ascot this Saturday, the Railway Stakes and the Winterbottom Stakes, by visiting our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet today.
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2011 WA Guineas Odds
Ascot Race 7 – 19/11/2011
|1||Ron’s Call (7)||2.50 Luxbet|
|2||King Saul (10)||3.40 Luxbet|
|3||Fort Courage (9)||26.00 Luxbet|
|4||Shining Knight (6)||5.50 Luxbet|
|5||Shady Bet (4)||67.00 Luxbet|
|6||Lord Hatras (2)||41.00 Luxbet|
|7||Independent Mak (14)||201.00 Luxbet|
|8||First Flight (5)||17.00 Luxbet|
|9||Red Hot Sax (1)||19.00 Luxbet|
|10||Single Spice (13)||41.00 Luxbet|
|11||Almachino (12)||13.00 Luxbet|
|12||Pattie Me Lass (11)||–|
|13||Ningaloo Blitz (8)||41.00 Luxbet|
|14||Caiguna (3)||41.00 Luxbet|
*Fixed Win Odds from Luxbet and are subject to change