This Saturday at Caulfield Racecourse Cranbourne-based horseman Shea Eden will vie for his maiden stakes victory saddling up Apollo’s Choice in the 2013 Sandown Guineas.
A total 17 three-year-olds were nominated for this year’s $350,000 Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m), one of the more notable of which is the Peter Snowden-trained Carbine Club Stakes winner Paximadia.
Snowden has also nominated for Champollion as he shoots for his fourth recent Sandown Guineas win following victories with Tatra (2012), Kidnapped (2009) and Caymans (2008).
Also in the mix then is the progressive Choisir colt Apollo’s Choice who is out to break Eden’s black type maiden with a win.
After a successful debut at Benalla back in May Apollo’s Choice resumed six months later at Kyneton for another victory over 1200m.
They travelled to the big city for the first time last Saturday then racing at Flemington’s Emirates Stakes Day in the Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes (1400m).
Ridden by Chris Symons the lightly-raced youngster overraced in the early stages and was also blocked for a run in the straight.
Still they battled on and caught the eye when finishing only half a length away fourth behind the winner Dothraki.
“To still be able to finish off as well as he did was encouraging,” Eden said.
Eden is hoping that run will have bought his horse on experience wise as they prepare to go up to the mile for the first time in Saturday’s Guineas.
“We made a decision after the race (on Saturday) if he pulled up well, came home and ate up and ticked every box then we’d run in the Guineas,” Eden told AAP on Monday.
“He’s done that so at this stage he’ll be running.”
After coming close to a maiden stakes win with Zellindi running a nose away second to Calcatta in a Listed Adelaide sprint back in April, Eden is excited about having a genuine Group 2 prospect this weekend in Melbourne.
“To have a live chance in not only a black-type race but a Group 2 is exciting and it would just be a huge thrill if we can pull it off,” Eden said.
“We’ve had a reputation for getting older horses with problems back to the track and finding their form, but now to be doing it with younger horses is important.
“Let’s face it, they are the future and the only way you really find a good one is with a younger horse.
“It’s just great for the stable to be able to have a horse of his ability.”
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