Local Jet Spur gelding Biggles may be first-up and facing a tough field of fellow three-year-olds in Saturday’s 2012 Gold Coast Guineas but trainer Noel Doyle is confident the youngster has come on well since their last appearance and is ready to score an upset.
Won last year by Gillian Heinrich’s local filly Military Rose, Doyle is hoping the $125,000 Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) trophy will remain on the ‘glitter strip’ again with Biggles on the job.
A capacity 16 starters plus five emergencies make up the Gold Coast Guineas field this year with Biggles drawn wide in gate 14, into 12 with all the emergencies coming out.
Apprentice hoop Timothy Bell is booked for the ride, Bell having ridden the horse for all four of their summer runs.
First-up last December Biggles scored a good win over 1000-metres at Eagle Farm before scoring their maiden stakes success next start when awarded victory upon protest over Easy Running in the Listed Gold Edition Plate (1200m).
Their other runs last time out were then a sixth to Punch On in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) and a fifth again to Punch On this time in the Gold Coast Magic Million Guineas (1400m).
“He’s coming along well since I gave him a barrier trial at Deagon last week and 1200 metres first-up is ideal for him,” Doyle said of Biggles.
“He wasn’t beaten far in the Magic Millions Guineas when he drew the car park and never got on the track.”
In the MM Guineas Biggles was beaten a length and a half by the Peter Balzen-trained Tiger Hill filly Punch On, who also resumes in the Gold Coast Guineas on Saturday.
Another GC Guineas hope that come via the Magic Millions showdown is runner-up Easy Running who resumed on April 21 with a gritty first-up victory in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate (1000m) at Eagle Farm.
There are also a number of talented interstate rivals in the Gold Coast Guineas mix this year threatening to steal the thunder from the Queenslanders including the Kris Lees-trained 2011 Skyline Stakes winner Uate and Peter Snowden’s consistent Lonhro gelding Mental.
While Doyle is wary of the talent coming across state lines he also knows that Biggles having the home track advantage could be the key to success.
“I think the interstate horses should be more worried about him on his home track but you’ve always got to be wary of the interstate horses,” he said.
Doyle is eyeing off the $250,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas over the Eagle Farm mile on June 9, Stradbroke Handicap Day, for Biggles should they run well on Saturday.
Leading up to the 2012 Queensland Guineas Biggles could also run in the $500,000 Inglis Three-Year-Old Guineas (1400m) on May 19, Doyle ruling out the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1200m) for them at this stage.
“He’s one of the better horses I’ve trained but this year’s Stradbroke is probably a little too soon for him,” Doyle admitted.
“He’ll make a nice Stradbroke horse next year.
“The Inglis Guineas is worth a lot of money and I’m considering sending him down for it.
“If I don’t he’ll run in the Fred Best Classic at Doomben next start.”
The $125,000 Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) runs at Doomben on the same day as the Inglis Guineas.
With a full field boasting plenty of depth and potential the Gold Coast Guineas is shaping up as an excellent betting race.
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