This Saturday a field full of 2013 Australian Guineas hopefuls will face off in the $120,000 Listed Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield including Greg Eurell’s smart colt Hosting who is back from injury and rearing to go in the autumn.
A promising son of Host out of Zabeel mare Kali Smytzer, Hosting debuted for Cranbourne horseman Eurell at Mornington back in August last year.
Going straight to the 1227m on the back of two 800m trials, the first of which they won the second they ran a disappointing sixth in, Hosting overcame barrier 10 of 12 and carried 58kg to a tidy three and a half length victory in the three-year-old maiden plate.
It was an excellent debut and one that had Eurell eyeing bigger and better things before a minor injury, the horse stretching a joint capsule in their near-front leg, cut short their first campaign.
Eurell however believes that the time spent in the paddock did more good than harm and is happy with their progress since.
“We like the horse and thought it was best to ease up and let the joint take up again,” Eurell said.
“It’s as good as gold now.
“As always, time is a big plus with these horses.
“We’re half hoping because he had a good break while the others were belting it out in the spring that it might help him this time in.”
Hosting returned for a Yarra Valley trial on January 21 and was equally as impressive as their official race debut, Craig Williams guiding them to a three length win over the 1000m – the ace hoop retaining the ride for Saturday.
Returning in the Manfred Stakes 2013 this weekend Eurell is hoping Hosting continues to progress well as they eye off the richer autumn prize of the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 2.
“He’s got the opportunity to prove himself,” Eurell, who won the 2006 Australian Guineas with Apache Cat, said.
“A lot of these horses, if you don’t ask the question then you don’t get the answer.”
Leading into the Australian Guineas Hosting, who could find the 1200m on Saturday a little short, is set to run in the $150,000 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on February 16 and Eurell believes they could even get to the mile and a half bringing them into contention for the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) in Sydney on April 13.
“He might even stretch to a Derby distance,” Eurell said.
Eurell also has Force Command nominated for the Manfred Stakes, which will be headed by Peter Snowden’s Golden Rose runner-up Albrecht, the Commands colt racing for the first time since September last year.
“These two horses work together and he is in very good order,” Eurell said of Force Command who is also nominated for a maiden at Sale on Sunday.
“He’s an improved horse this time and he has to be. We had some nice races picked out for him but it didn’t go our way in the spring.”
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