Fifteen three-year-olds remain in contention for Saturday’s featured Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse; offering punters exceptional value from a betting standpoint and several key opportunities to place a winning wager.
Kiwi raider Xtravagant has remained clear favourite in 2016 Australian Guineas betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au this week and has cut into a current quote of $3.20 ahead of Palentino ($7.50) and Tarzino ($8).
Will Xtravagant justify his resounding favouritism and win the 2016 Australian Guineas or will one of his many talented rivals find the line in the clear?
Xtravagant is a two-time Group 1 winner in his homeland and if he has acclimatized to the Australian conditions, will be very hard to beat in the Australian Guineas. Posting an impressive five wins and one minor through eight career starts, the Pentire colt won the Wellington Guineas trial (1400m) on October 24th; progressing to an impressive nine length win in the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) on November 7th. Having continued his unbeaten run in the New Zealand Herald Stakes (1400m), Xtravagant ran fourth in the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) on January 16th before returning to winning form in the Group 1 NRM Sprint (1400m) on February 13th. Regular hoop Matt Cameron takes the ride in the Australian Guineas from the ideal barrier 3.
Group 1 winner Jameka clearly needed the run in her first start this time but is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from the hit-out, is proven at the class and distance and arguably offers punters the best value for money in 2016 Australian Guineas betting markets at $17 to win or $4.90 to finish in the first three. Running third in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) in early spring, the Myboycharlie filly progressed to second in each of the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) and Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m). Returning to winning form in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m), Jameka delivered a talented field a resounding defeat in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m). While perhaps requiring some luck in running from barrier 12, champion hoop Damien Oliver retains the ride in the Australian Guineas.
Consistent performer Mahuta has finished outside the first three only once through eight career starts so far and is sure to lay another great account for himself in the 2016 Australian Guineas. Posting a maiden black type win in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) on October 17th, the Flying Spur colt continued to impress in taking out each of the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) before receiving a brief freshen-up. Resuming for another impressive win in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 3.y.o Guineas (1400m), Mahuta won the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) on February 13th.
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