Peter Snowden’s triple Group 1 hero Helmet is set to run in his Aussie swansong at Flemington this Saturday, the overseas-bound colt sure to start the favourite in the markets for the 2012 Australian Guineas after coming up with the perfect gate.
A capacity field of 16 starters plus four emergencies were paid up for at acceptance stage today making for a bumper edition of the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Won 12 months ago by smart filly Shamrocker, the Australian Guineas 2012 is set to run as Flemington Race 6 at 4:00pm (VIC time) and is sure to be one of the most bet on of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival features at Luxbet.
Drawn ideally in barrier five with regular rider Kerrin McEvoy engaged, Exceed And Excel three-year-old Helmet goes into the Australian Guineas second-up for the season.
Heading off overseas next month for the Dubai World Cup Night followed by a new career racing in Europe under new connections Godolphin, Helmet will be out on Saturday to atone for his shock first-up defeat.
Going out as the odds-on favourite Helmet could only manage to finish two and a half lengths away fifth behind winner That’s The One in his resuming run in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1410m) at Flemington a fortnight ago.
Despite that upset the money is sure to be back on Helmet again in the Australian Guineas odds at Luxbet once updated markets are released, the $1.6 million earner out to become just the second horse in history along with Mahogany to take out the Caulfield – Australian Guineas double.
The Colin & Cindy Alderson-trained That’s The One who got the better of Helmet last-start is also set to back-up in the Australian Guineas field this weekend.
A lightly-raced Snippetson gelding that has won three of their five career starts to date, That’s The One has suffered an early blow drawing awkwardly with barrier 14, Craig Williams to maintain their association.
That’s The One, who was well beaten by Helmet in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) during the spring, certainly was eye-catching in the CS Hayes but going up to a mile for the first time and with a fitter Helmet in the field their chance of another upset is unlikely.
History is also against any horse drawn in double-digits for the three-year-olds’ showdown as no Australian Guineas winner in the race’s 26-year-old history to date has ever jumped from double digits, 14 of the past 22 editions of the race having had 10 or more starters.
Along with That’s The One, CS Hayes Stakes runner-up Decircles and equal third placegetters Highly Recommended and Instinction will also get their chance in the Australian Guineas 2012.
While the Danny O’Brien-trained Decircles was a big loser with gate 18 in the Australian Guineas barrier draw, Peter Moody’s consistent Fastnet Rock colt Highly Recommended and the Mick Price-prepared stakes winning grey Instinction have come up trumps with four and one respectively.
Instinction is one of two Australian Guineas acceptances for in-form Caulfield horseman Mick Price who is fresh off a Blue Diamond Stakes win with his ace filly Samaready and who is vying for his third Australian Guineas win in five years following the success of Light Fantastic (2008) and Heart Of Dreams (2009).
His other Saturday headliner is the up-and-coming Proliferate in gate eight, the More Than Ready colt having finished a length behind Instinction when the pair worked over 1200-metres at Caulfield on Tuesday morning.
“Instinction has probably got a better turn of foot up to a mile, but I’m not underestimating Proliferate,” Price said when asked his favourite of the duo.
“He (Proliferate) is a beautiful colt and I really like him heading towards 2000-metres and beyond.
“If it is top of the ground (in the Australian Guineas) Proliferate is capable of running a really good sectional and he has plenty of stamina.”
Other most notable 2012 Australian Guineas hopeful is Mosheen looking to go back-to-back for the fillies in the classic.
Along with Helmet Mosheen was also a shock beaten-favourite at Flemington on February 18 when she went down a nose to Shopaholic in the Group 3 The Vanity (1410m).
Having sat second behind Helmet in the futures Australian Guineas betting at Luxbet over the past few weeks, Robert Smerdon’s Crown Oaks winning daughter of Fastnet Rock’s chances of securing a second elite level look dismal after she drew the extreme outside barrier 20.
See below for the full Australian Guineas field, barriers and jockeys for Saturday’s clash.
New markets are due to be released by our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet shortly, so make sure you are ready for the action by opening your new account!
2012 Australian Guineas Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 6 – 4:00pm – 03/03/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11X33118X5||HELMET||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||5||56.5kg||112|
|2||0X128321X8||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin||Mark Zahra||13||56.5kg||108|
|3||1X04313X8||SABRAGE||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||9||56.5kg||93|
|4||X21315X433||ADAMANTIUM (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Dwayne Dunn||6||56.5kg||88|
|5||2752315X5||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Nicholas Hall||16||56.5kg||91|
|6||X68X211X13||INSTINCTION||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1||56.5kg||91|
|7||116X21||THAT’S THE ONE||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Craig Williams||14||56.5kg||91|
|8||210X79X121||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Michael Rodd||19||56.5kg||84|
|9||3X34324X33||HIGHLY RECOMMENDED||Peter G Moody||Noel Callow||4||56.5kg||82|
|10||111X2||PROLIFERATE||Mick Price||Michael Walker||8||56.5kg||89|
|11||3X5113X67||HUEGILL||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7||56.5kg||86|
|12||762X1X252||DECIRCLES||Danny O’Brien||Glen Boss||18||56.5kg||82|
|13||2X812246X4||FIRST COURSE||Ken Keys||Steven Arnold||12||56.5kg||72|
|14||28358X2174||MISTER MILTON||Norman Waymouth||Ben Melham||2||56.5kg||72|
|15||42X17415||BOMBALATOMBA (NZ)||Chris Hyland||Brad Rawiller||10||56.5kg||68|
|16||3531261X12||MOSHEEN||Robert Smerdon||Danny Nikolic||20||54.5kg||105|
|17e||72X4947X||I FEEL GOOD||Frankie Stockdale||–||15||56.5kg||62|
|19e||8X2115X66||TONED||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||3||56.5kg||70|
|20e||2X121||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||Steven Arnold||17||56.5kg||68|