Boom New Zealand colt Xtravagant is the headline first acceptor taken for Saturday week’s Australian Guineas 2016 after first declarations for the Flemington feature closed on Tuesday.
Running on March 5, this year’s $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) originally attracted 110 nominations.
That number is down to just 25 three-year-olds after first acceptances closed this week, with early Australian Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au led by the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Xtravagant.
The New Zealand-trained Pentire colt has won five of his eight starts to date including last year’s Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 NRM Sprint (1400m) on February 13.
He currently pays $4 in all-in Australian Guineas betting to travel down under and enjoy another elite level triumph.
It is a tight market among the best of the Australian Guineas first acceptors with another six at single-figures to win including Palentino at $5.50.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir has a total of three youngsters still in the mix led by Teofilo colt Palentino who was last seen finishing a narrow second in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 20.
Weir’s other two first acceptors are former Perth-trained More Than Ready filly Perfect Reflection who suffered her first loss when third in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) last Saturday and the flying Mahuta.
Mahuta has won his past six starts on the trot including the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) and is nominated to race again in the Group 2 Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) on Saturday.
The Flying Spur colt is at $6.50 to win the Group 1 on March 5, while Perfect Reflection is at $9 to join Shamrocker (2011) and Mosheen (2012) as the most recent fillies to beat home the boys in the Australian Guineas.
Last year’s winning trainer Gai Waterhouse (Wandjina) has one remaining hope with River Wild sitting 20th on the Australian Guineas ballot after his unplaced CS Hayes Stakes run (eighth).
The Michael Moroney-trained CS Hayes Stakes winner Tivaci is number one on the Australian Guineas order of entry after his qualifying win last Saturday, the High Chaparral colt at $11 to go the double achieved by Wandjina (2015) 12 months ago.
Moroney also prepared third past the post in the CS Hayes, Tulsa, who is 23rd in the Australian Guineas ballot and paying $15 to not only make the field but take it out.
The other shortest priced hopeful at $5.50 is the Chris Waller-trained Press Statement, the dual Group 1 winning Hinchinbrook colt having won the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) first-up at Rosehill by over two lengths.
While the intentions of Waller are to keep Press Statement in Sydney heading towards the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on the same day as the Australian Guineas, he remains officially entered for the latter.
The most notable omission at first acceptance stage meanwhile was the Tony McEvoy-trained Not A Single Doubt filly Don’t Doubt Mamma.
She won The Vanity first-up last Saturday, but is tipped to target the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 12 instead of taking on the boys at Flemington the Saturday before.
Other notable three-year-olds still in contention include the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Kiwi expat Risque who won the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield in her Australian debut a fortnight ago, Mick Price’s Victoria Derby winner Tarzino whose major autumn aim is the 2016 ATC Derby in Sydney and the spring’s Caulfield Guineas runner-up Lizard Island.
See below for the full Australian Guineas 2016 first acceptances, full futures markets on the race now open at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 Australian Guineas First Acceptances
Flemington Racecourse – 05/03/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|3||111x2511x1||PRESS STATEMENT||C||3||Chris Waller||3||56.5kg|
|4||311731×4||TARZINO (NZ)||C||3||Mick Price||4||56.5kg|
|6||11111×3||PERFECT REFLECTION||F||3||Darren Weir||6||54.5kg|
|8||25x11616x5||STAY WITH ME||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||8||54.5kg|
|9||7x23939x30||READY FOR VICTORY||C||3||Mick Price||9||56.5kg|
|10||1×8311141||XTRAVAGANT (NZ)||C||3||Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards||10||56.5kg|
|11||12217×5||SACRED EYE||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||11||54.5kg|
|12||x6321228x4||LIZARD ISLAND||C||3||Pat Hyland||12||56.5kg|
|13||2x61211x1||RISQUE (NZ)||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||13||54.5kg|
|14||4132119×96||BON AURUM||C||3||Ciaron Maher||14||56.5kg|
|15||17148×65||SOVEREIGN NATION||C||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||15||56.5kg|
|17||321105×0||METALLIC CROWN||C||3||Chris Waller||17||56.5kg|
|18||2x510x7||CELTIC TIGER (NZ)||G||3||Mick Price||18||56.5kg|
|19||x416211x88||TORGERSEN (NZ)||C||3||Chris Waller||19||56.5kg|
|20||13×4118||RIVER WILD||C||3||Gai Waterhouse||20||56.5kg|
|21||1x11940x13||SNOOPY||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||21||56.5kg|
|22||3x31324x2||SAILING BY||F||3||Mick Price||22||54.5kg|
|25||1×22||DATA POINT||C||3||Michael Kent||25||56.5kg|