Kiwi raider Xtravagant has drawn ideally in barrier three in the capacity Australian Guineas 2016 field and will start favourite in the Flemington feature on Saturday.
Due to run as Flemington Race 7 at 4:30pm (AEDT) this season’s $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) has attracted a full 16 starters and the current betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au has Xtravagant leading the way at $3.90.
New Zealand hoop Matthew Cameron travels over for the ride on the Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained Pentire colt who has won five of his eight starts at home so far including two Group 1 victories.
He took out last year’s NZ 2000 Guineas over a mile before a last start win in the NRM Sprint at 1400m on February 13.
The bookies are tipping that form to stack up on Saturday with Xtravagant back up to 1600m and looking to become the first Australian Guineas winner to jump from barrier three since Delago Brom (2003).
Three other runners are also under $10 in the latest Australian Guineas odds to win including the $6.50 second favourite Palentino who suffered an early blow coming up with the outside barrier (16).
It is the second time the Darren Weir-trained son of Teofilo has had back luck after he lost the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington a fortnight ago to Tivaci on protest.
He is out to turn the tables this weekend stepping up to the mile for the first time but he and hoop Mark Zahra have work to do from the gate, the same barrier Mosheen (2012) beat home the boys from.
She was the sole Australian Guineas winner to jump from double digits in over 30 years however giving Palentino a notable hoodoo to overcome.
Weir will also saddle up the flying Mahuta from barrier nine and early market mover Perfect Reflection drawn superbly in gate two with Ben Melham aboard the best fancied filly in the mix.
A son of Flying Spur, Mahuta pays $9.50 to extend his winning streak out to seven on the trot despite not having originally been targeted for the Australian Guineas.
He earned a shot in the Group 1 Melbourne Autumn Carnival classic after dominating in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas on the Gold Coast first-up and then the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) last start.
Perfect Reflection ($10) is one of four fillies in the mix and shoots for her first win outside of Perth where she won her opening five career starts before transferring to Weir’s care.
Included in her five victories was the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) and her Melbourne debut a fortnight back was a good third when beaten under a length by Don’t Doubt Mamma in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m).
She will be improving off that with a Victorian run now under her belt, will appreciate the step up in distance, has Melham aboard again and jumps from a barrier that last produced an Australian Guineas winner in Heart Of Dreams (2009).
The third favourite in Australian Guineas betting at $7 meanwhile is the Mick Price-trained Victoria Derby winner from the spring Tarzino who will get things his way from barrier four.
Price prepared back-to-back Australian Guineas winners with Light Fantastic (2008) and the aforementioned Heart Of Dreams (2009), Tavistock colt Tarzino in good form to add a third to the trophy cabinet.
He returned to racing with a fourth beaten only one and a quarter lengths by Mahuta in the Autumn Stakes on February 13 and has Craig Newitt aboard here, Newitt having ridden both of Price’s previous winners in the classic.
The next best in betting are the Michael Moroney-trained Tivaci ($13) out to complete the CS Hayes Stakes – Australian Guineas double achieved last year by Wandjina and the classy David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained filly Risque ($15).
Hailing from New Zealand, imported Darci Brahma filly Risque won her first run in Australia three weeks back in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) and she is undefeated over 1600m with two wins including her Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas success last November.
See below for the full Australian Guineas 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!