One of Saturday’s key Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day support races is the 2014 Hawkesbury Guineas, our top three-year-olds to get behind in the showdown listed below.
Running as Hawkesbury Race 7 at 4:00pm (AEST) the field for this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) is down from 16 to 14 following two early scratchings.
Stephen Farley withdrew #12 Choice Larga and then the race also lost one of its top contenders #2 Beauty’s Beast.
Hawkesbury Guineas betting markets then are led by steady favourite Chautauqua ($4.4) who has the outside gate to overcome here.
One of a top book of rides on the day for Kiwi expat James McDonald, who also rides Hawkesbury Gold Cup favourite Leebaz, this fellow Hawkes-trained Encosta De Lago grey comes here on the back of a Group 2 Randwick run from April 19.
There they finished seventh behind Sidestep in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes on the back of a Gosford Guineas second.
Go up in distance here which should suit and down in class, another plus, so could be hard to hold out.
In fairly open Hawkesbury Guineas odds the other top fancies then include the in-form Gai Waterhouse-trained filly Northern Glory ($5), Roger James’ Kiwi raider Katie’s Cove ($6) coming off back-to-back New Zealand wins,early market mover Kasiano Lad ($9) and the well-tried Peter Snowden-trained Barbed ($9).
So will one of these get the job done?
Or can a longer priced youngster score an upset such as last weekend’s Group 3 JHB Carr Stakes winner Estonian Princess ($9.50) or the lightly-raced Anthony Cummings-trained Spy Decoder ($10)?
#4 Estonian Princess ($9.50)
Scott Aspery’s Snitzel filly is at a nice price to beat home the boys here and we rate her to do just that from a gun gate five draw with Kathy O’Hara riding. She won at Wyong over the mile two back on a Dead (5) before finding it tough going on a Heavy (9) over 2000m at Randwick when seventh behind Arabian Gold in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes on April 12. She improved on that when racing on a Slow (6) back over 1400m in the Group 3 last weekend beating a very similar field to this, so while the momentum is there and the track is firming we think she’ll go back-to-back and score again here with the distance ideal.
#7 Kasiano Lad ($9)
Early market mover the money is rolling in for the Jason Coyle-trained Domesday gelding who has run top two in their past four runs. Won two on the trot during December and then returned with a second over 1400m when seeing the distance for the first time at Warwick Farm in January. Sent for another freshen-up and placed second again last time out on April 21 over 1300m, the 1400m not out of their reach as they face a class rise her on the back of promising form.
#14 Northern Glory ($5)
Waterhouse’s well-bred filly is on a roll and ready to run top three again here after coming within a nose of Estonian Princess at in the JHB Carr last weekend. Before that she was third in the Darby Munro in the mud and fourth to Politeness in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes on another Heavy track. Form is good and we rate the lead-up but on firmer ground not sure if she’ll be as competitive on the seven day turnaround.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change