Peter Snowden’s Group 1 performing colt Albrecht puts their Australian Guineas 2013 claims on the line this Saturday when they look to bounce back in the $150,000 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington’s Lightning Stakes Day after a horror first-up run.
Winner of the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m) at Warwick Farm last August, Albrecht enjoyed a stellar spring backing up from that victory to run a long neck away second to stablemate Epaulette in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill.
They also enjoyed another good second to Kabayan in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at the same track a fortnight later before being turned out for a well-earned rest.
There was then plenty of anticipation and hype surrounding their return this month in the Listed Manfred Stakes (1200m).
In a disappointing result however the Redoute’s Choice three-year-old faded badly over the final few hundred meters and could only manage to finish six and a half lengths away sixth to the undefeated Peter Moody-trained Royal Haunt who also nominated for the CS Hayes Stakes 2013 this weekend.
Snowden knows Albrecht is capable of much more and is hoping to see that on Saturday, their second-up performance to determine whether connections press onto the $600,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) back at Flemington March 2.
Should Albrecht fail to improve then they will return to Sydney for a much easier autumn campaign away from the big features.
His trainer, who was baffled by their Manfred failure, is confident that won’t be the case however after watching Albrecht work well in Melbourne on Tuesday morning.
“I was dumbfounded,” Snowden said on Tuesday morning of their first-up performance.
“There’s nothing wrong with the horse, he seems perfect. Maybe it was Caulfield the first time, I don’t know.
“I had to make sure in my mind he was right again and I was more than happy with what I saw this morning.
“He had a good click-up this morning and I couldn’t fault him. His work was excellent so look, if he ran poorly again on Saturday I would definitely take him back home.
“It means to me that he’s just not handling Melbourne, but I can see nothing in his work or the way he looks for him to run anything but well on Saturday.”
After their below par CS Hayes run Albrecht eased in the futures Australian Guineas odds out to $15, markets led by last weekend’s excellent CF Orr Stakes champ All Too Hard ($2.30).
The spruik half-brother to Black Caviar could have one more run leading into the Guineas with co-trainer John Hawkes to make a decision next week whether to run Casino Prince colt All Too Hard second-up in the $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 23.
Snowden meanwhile is hoping things go Albrecht’s way and the youngster can hand him with his maiden Australian Guineas victory.
Darley’s head trainer came close in 2008 with Marching and again in 2011 with Bullbars who both finished runner-up in the respective three-year-old seasons.
Still the bookies always fancy a Snowden-trained youngster in the Australian Guineas with horses from his stable having started favourite in three of the past four editions with Fravashi (fifth in 2009), Denman (fourth in 2010) and then Helmet (12th in 2012).
“I’ve tried to win it a few times now and it’s a tough race to win,” he said.
The 2013 CS Hayes Stakes final field and barriers are due for release tomorrow with other notable three-year-olds likely to be accepted for including Michael Kent’s unbeaten Philippi running for the first time since their Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) victory at Flemington back in October, fellow Host colt Hosting who was third in the Manfred Stakes and their stablemate Force Command who was second in the Manfred.
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