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Young colt High Shot will be considered for the $220,000 Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield this Saturday but trainer Michael Kent has named the 2013 Australian Derby as their major Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival assignment this time in.
The son of High Chaparral debuted with a win on a soft track at home at Cranbourne last October after which they were sent out for a four month spell to mature.
They resumed at Caulfield on February 9 but could only manage to finish five lengths away sixth behind Mulaazem in a disappointing first-up run in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) after acting very “colty”, behavior Kent didn’t see when he worked them at Flemington last weekend.
“He just lost it at Caulfield and was terrible when we were saddling him up but he’s usually very quiet and he was perfectly behaved when I took him to Flemington on Saturday,” Kent said.
Kent is now looking at running them again this weekend on Blue Diamond Stakes Day in the 2013 Autumn Classic where they would face a similar field or rivals as they did when resuming including Autumn Stakes runner-up Fiveandahalfstar and third placed Super Cool who finished one-two in the Group 1 Victoria Derby last spring.
There is a chance High Shot will be saved however for a later second-up assignment however depending on the strength of the acceptors, Kent saying the key would be whether last start CF Orr Stakes winner All Too Hard – who is set to run in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on Saturday – runs in the Australian Guineas Saturday week.
“I think a lot of horses were going to the Guineas in the belief that All Too Hard would not be running and where he goes will have an effect on the race on Saturday,” he said.
“We will enter him on Saturday and just see how strong it looks before making up our minds.”
Wherever they race next it will be aimed at getting them ready for the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 where Kent believes they will be competitive over the mile and a half.
“He goes well the Sydney way of going and loves it wet so the Derby up there is his major aim,” he said.
Kent is also happy with the way his stakes winning Host colt Philippi pulled up after their close first-up fourth to Sheer Talent in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) run last weekend as they head towards a possible clash with All Too Hard in the $600,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
“He was ridden handy in a race without speed and got outsprinted but really hit the line well and came through it well so he’s heading to the Guineas for sure,” Kent said.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest Australian Derby and Australian Guineas news and updates.
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