Peter Snowden’s star filly Guelph will face just six rivals in her bid to win a third Group 1 this weekend at Royal Randwick having scared off the bulk of competitors for the 2013 Flight Stakes.
Running as Race 4 at 2:05pm (AEST) on Saturday the $400,000 Group 1 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) is the first of three elite levels on the program and also brings to a close the Sydney Princess Series of races.
Drawn in the outside barrier six with stable jockey Kerrin McEvoy to ride, Exceed And Excel three-year-old Guelph beat the boys home twice in the autumn taking out Randwick’s ATC Sires Produce – Champagne Stakes double.
She returned to the track this time in on September 7 and suffered a shock loss, albeit beaten by a mere nose, in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) by Bound For Earth.
Getting up to the 1400m at her latest run though the Thousand Guineas-bound filly was back on target with her easy win in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and is ready to win again on the weekend.
“She looks ready to go,” Snowden told the Daily Telegraph this week speaking of last season’s NSW Champion 2YO.
“You’d think she’ll (be the favourite), based on what she’s done before, she’s a two-time Group 1 winner, she’s back in form, not that she was ever out of form, she’s racing well and getting out to the right trip.
“There’s lot to like about her Saturday.”
Tea Rose runner-up Arabian Gold (barrier three) gets their chance to atone also backing up in the Flight Stakes on Saturday.
While the David Vandyke-trained daughter of Dubawi has obvious class having won three on the trot during the winter, her jockey Peter Robl admits that it will be a task likely too tough to take down the odds-on favourite here.
“She’s improved off her first-up second the other day but Guelph proved far superior,” Robl told AAP.
“She’s going as good as we can get her going.
“All things being equal she’s probably going to struggle beating Guelph but I think she can comfortably beat the rest of them.”
The other more notable hopes out for a major Flight Stakes upset are the John O’Shea-trained Furious Stakes winner Bound For Earth who ran third in the Tea Rose and Gai Waterhouse’s Sebring chestnut She’s Bella drawn in barriers two and five respectively.
She’s Bella has run top three in her past five races, a first-up win at Kembla Grange last month followed by her good third to Champagne Cath at Rosehill last Saturday in the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m).
Rounding out the Flight Stakes field are then the Peter Moody-trained Sensibility and Clarry Conners’ rails-drawn Refer.
Whether you’re backing Guelph in Saturday’s Flight Stakes or getting on her for the $1 million Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne on October 16 where she’s headed next, you’ll get the best price online at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2013 Flight Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 4 – 2:05pm (AEST) – 05/10/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x119411x21||GUELPH||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6||56kg||102|
|2||153×13||BOUND FOR EARTH||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2||56kg||92|
|3||41×21112||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||Peter Robl||3||56kg||84|
|4||4x323x13||SHE’S BELLA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||5||56kg||70|
|5||14||SENSIBILITY||Peter G Moody||–||4||56kg||66|
|6||36×53||REFER||Clarry Conners||Brenton Avdulla||1||56kg||59|