Clarry Conners’ 2013 Australian Guineas nominee Turnley is likely to miss both the Royal Sovereign Stakes in Sydney this Saturday and Flemington’s $150,000 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) being saved for an easier assignment next start.
The progressive Olympus gelding is dually nominated for this weekend, Conners throwing them in the early entries for both the CS Hayes Stakes on Lightning Stakes Day in Melbourne and the $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Despite the Royal Sovereign Stakes being worth a pretty penny in prize money and the CS Hayes Stakes being a traditional lead-up to the $600,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) which is set to run back at Flemington this year on March 2, Conners is fairly confident he will bypass both races.
“I put him in that race and also the CS Hayes at Flemington but I think I’ll take the easy option with him and wait another week and run him in a Benchmark 75,” he said.
“He’s going really well and I think he can step up but I want to make it as easy as possible.”
Turnely improved on their three January runs when they stepped out at Canterbury on February 8, Tommy Berry guiding them to an eye-catching three length win when carrying 59kg in a 3YO No Maiden Wins Handicap over 1250m.
If they were to step up to the 1400m in the CS Hayes, a distance they won over at Hawkesbury last August, it would be their first black type assignment and give Turnley a chance to firm in the futures Australian Guineas betting markets too as they are currently a $126 roughie with odds led by first-up CF Orr Stakes champ All Too Hard ($2.30).
It is shaping up as a top edition of the CS Hayes Stakes this year with headline nominees including Bart Cummings’ resuming Sandown Guineas runner-up Lunar Rise, Michael Kent’s undefeated Host colt Philippi, the also unbeaten Peter Moody-trained Royal Haunt coming off a huge 4.5 length win in the Listed Manfred Stakes from the start of the month, and the Greg Eurell-trained duo of Force Command and Hosting who ran second and third respectively in the Manfred Stakes.
All the major fields for the weekend are due for release on Wednesday with acceptances to be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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