Darley-owned gelding Academus returned to Queensland with a bang at the Gold Coast today to win the Group 3 2013 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m).
The son of Lonhro placed three times behind top Queensland colt Sizzling at last year’s winter carnival but got his revenge today.
Sizzling was slow out of the blocks and got stuck in traffic while Academus shot to the lead early in the straight before fending off a late charge from Mick Price-trained colt Al Aneed and the recently gelded Dances On Stars.
It was the first hit-out for Academus since winning the Group 2 WA Guineas over 1600m in November, signalling his potential for bigger things to come at the upcoming 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
There’s plenty of three-year-old races but his versatility and ability to hit the line late could make him a lightweight chance in the $1.36 million 2013 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
The lightly-raced gelding has now won three of eight starts but has only missed out on a top three finish once.
It sets up a potentially mouth-watering campaign against Sizzling who came home hard for fifth despite struggling to find an opening.
Sizzling has been entered for the Stradbroke as has fellow gun Brisbane three-year-old Better Than Ready.
All the Queensland action continues with BTC Cup day next Saturday and bookmaker.com.au will have great odds on the Group 1 feature sprint.
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