It is shaping up as a supercharged edition of the 2012 Randwick Guineas at Royal Randwick this Saturday after a star-studded list of nominations was released today, Australian Guineas winning filly Mosheen the headline early entry.
The latest thoroughbred major of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, the $500,000 Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) runs as the key race of this weekend and has attracted 23 nominees.
The top-rated of the Randwick Guineas 2012 entries is Robert Smerdon’s brilliant daughter of Fastnet Rock Mosheen.
Mosheen became a dual Group 1 winner last time out with her historic three length victory in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3, but she hasn’t been to Sydney since her second to Sepoy in last year’s Golden Slipper and she’s never been to Randwick.
Despite the big task ahead for Mosheen, jockey Danny Nikolic has full confidence that she can get the job done again, even racing the opposite way.
“The run from the Australian Guineas hasn’t hurt her,” he said.
“There’s still plenty of upside to her.
“She’s really enjoying being in work
“She’s at the top of her game.”
Connections made the decision to run Mosheen against the boys in the Randwick Guineas instead of going up against the older horses in the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24.
“We thought about the options we had, and we opted to stay with three-year-olds in the Randwick Guineas before tackling the Vinery (Stud) Stakes for fillies over 2000 metres on Golden Slipper day,” Smerdon said.
“From there, nothing has been locked in.
“The (Australian) Oaks will be considered, as will a race like the Doncaster.
“We’re delighted how she’s going. She got through her Guineas win in terrific order, she hasn’t missed a beat.”
The $550,000 Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) and the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) both run at Royal Randwick on April 21.
Mosheen is rated a $15 chance in the latest Doncaster Mile Handicap odds at bookmaker.com.au.
Australian Guineas runner-up Strike The Stars is also nominated to take on Mosheen again, one of three entries for trainer Anthony Cummings who has Australian Guineas 10th placed Fontelina and last Sunday’s upset Canberra Guineas winner She Goes To Rio in the mix as well.
Following Mosheen as the second highest-rated horse in this year’s Randwick Guineas nominations is then reigning Golden Rose champion Manawanui.
With Manawanui’s regular rider Glyn Schofield currently serving suspension, Tommy Berry will take over duties on the ace galloper.
Berry has ridden Manawanui once before when the duo finished second to Hot Snitzel first-up in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) and the hoop is happy to reunite with the horse who he rates a top chance in the Randwick Guineas.
“I knew I was chance of getting back on him, and my manager was straight on the phone,” Berry said.
“Fortunately, Ron (Leemon) was happy to put me back on.
“I have had about 15 rides in Group 1s, and my best was a third on Sacred Choice in the Epsom.
“This is my first real serious chance, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Ron Leemon’s Oratorio gelding was last seen going down in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) upon protest to Wild And Proud despite being first past the post.
Official Hobartville winner Wild And Proud is also 2012 Randwick Guineas-bound, the Snowland gelding one of two Gai Waterhouse-trained hopefuls along with the unbeaten Laser Hawk.
Hobartville Stakes third placegetter Moment Of Chance is also among the nominations, Peter Moody’s untapped three-year-old set to improve over more distance on a firmer track.
Other 2012 Randwick Guineas entries coming via the Hobartville are the Peter Snowden-trained quartet of Ambidexter (4th), Galah (9th), Free Wheeling (10th) and Induna (11th), along with Paul Messara’s lightly-raced Rekindled Alliance (6th), the Guy Walter-trained Spring Champion Stakes winner Doctor Doom (7th), Perth raider King Saul (8th) and Isopach (12th).
The other major playing in the Randwick Guineas comes from outside of Oz with Kiwi raider Ocean Park.
The Thorn Park colt put an easy four and a half lengths on a smart field to win the Group 3 Wellington stakes (1600m) two starts back before running a close second to the James McDonald-ridden Silent Achiever in the Group 3 Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 4.
Accompanying the Randwick Guineas at the track on Saturday will be two Group 3 features with the $125,000 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) for two-year-old fillies drawing 19 nominations and the colts and geldings’ equivalent, the $125,000 Skyline Stakes (1200m), attracting 15 entries.
All the Royal Randwick race fields including the Randwick Guineas acceptances will be released on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au so bookmark us to stay up to date with the latest!
In the meantime, prepare to lock in your Saturday selections at juicy prices by signing up with the best in the business, bookmaker.com.au.
2012 Randwick Guineas Nominations
Royal Randwick – Saturday March 17, 2012
|3||BIG TIME||Chris Waller||75|
|4||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Bede Murray||90|
|5||DOCTOR DOOM||Guy Walter||92|
|7||FREE WHEELING||Peter Snowden||84|
|9||HUEGILL||Peter G Moody||85|
|11||ISOPACH||John P Thompson||84|
|12||KING SAUL||Trevor Andrews||88|
|13||LASER HAWK||Gai Waterhouse||76|
|15||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||91|
|17||OCEAN PARK (NZ)||Gary Hennessy||–|
|19||REKINDLED ALLIANCE||Paul Messara||82|
|20||SAID COM (NZ)||Chris Waller||80|
|21||SHE GOES TO RIO (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||–|
|22||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||–|
|23||WILD AND PROUD||Gai Waterhouse||100|