Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
First acceptances for Saturday week’s Australian Guineas 2018 at Flemington Racecourse are now out with the Mick Price-trained CS Hayes Stakes winner Grunt one of the headline entries.
Down from 112 hopefuls at nomination stage in late January, there are now 29 three-year-olds left in the mix for the Group 1 $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) running on March 3 during the Melbourne Festival of Racing.
Caulfield horseman Price has paid first acceptances for three chances including the in-form O’Reilly colt Grunt who made it three wins on the trot with success in last Saturday’s Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).
Price prepared back-to-back Australian Guineas winners with Light Fantastic and Heart Of Dreams in 2008-09 and Grunt is considered his best chance of adding a third trophy to the cabinet this season.
The CS Hayes Stakes has proved the premier Australian Guineas form race in recent years producing the past three champions of the Group 1 including both Wandjina (2015) and Hey Doc (2017) who did the double.
In the post-first acceptance Australian Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Grunt is the $5.50 second favourite.
He is joined in the declarations by stablemates Mighty Boss and Holy Snow who both also shape-up as livewire chances paying $8 and $13 respectively in futures Australian Guineas betting.
Winner of the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) as a big roughie in betting during the spring, Mighty Boss will go into the Australian Guineas field third-up chasing the interstate Guineas double.
The Not Single A Doubt colt will also be coming off two weight-for-age runs against the older horses this time in.
The first on February 10 saw him run a luckless seventh when still under a length beaten by Hartnell in Caulfield’s Group 1 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m).
This weekend Mighty Boss returns to the same track and distance looking to improve against a similar field of rivals in the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) this weekend on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
The third Price-trained Australian Guineas hopeful is Holy Snow who won the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) by over a length in an upset first-up on CF Orr Day.
Favourite in all-in Australian Guineas betting meanwhile at $4.60 to hand trainer Darren Weir with a second win after his success two years back with Palentino (2016) is Cliff’s Edge.
The Canford Cliffs colt resumed on February 3 with a win in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) before a second to Grunt in the CS Hayes Stakes.
Cliff’s Edge is tipped to enjoy the step-up to a mile in the Group 1 having won up to 2000m in the spring.
Weir also still has Peaceful State ($11) in contention, the Sandown Guineas runner-up finishing a disappointing midfield seventh in the CS Hayes Stakes last weekend.
The fillies were last successful in the Australian Guineas back in 2011-12 when Shamrocker and Mosheen beat home the boys and this year there are just two fillies in the mix.
The Aaron Purcell-trained Aloisia beat Cliff’s Edge home by three and a half lengths in last October’s Group 3 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) and pays $8 to win the Australian Guineas.
She comes off a first-up run against her own kind when two lengths back for fifth to Rimraam in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m).
Runner-up in that race, Bring Me Roses is the other Australian Guineas-bound filly but the Tony McEvoy-trained daughter of High Chaparral is a $21 roughie for the win.
Check out the full Australian Guineas 2018 first acceptances below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in your early selections for the mile feature.
2018 Australian Guineas First Acceptances
Flemington Racecourse – 03/03/2018
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|1||3×111||GRUNT (NZ)||C||3||Mick Price||1||56.5kg|
|2||0x12741x7||MIGHTY BOSS||C||3||Mick Price||2||56.5kg|
|3||x12x5116x5||ALOISIA (NZ)||F||3||Aaron Purcell||3||54.5kg|
|4||1812126×12||CLIFF’S EDGE||C||3||Darren Weir||4||56.5kg|
|5||23x11432x8||SULLY (NZ)||G||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||5||56.5kg|
|6||432102×2||BRING ME ROSES||F||3||Tony McEvoy||6||54.5kg|
|8||42x21510x2||SHOWTIME||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||8||56.5kg|
|11||42139×1||HOLY SNOW||C||3||Mick Price||11||56.5kg|
|12||33x9152x33||MURAAQEB||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||12||56.5kg|
|13||3x212135x4||MAIN STAGE (NZ)||G||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||13||56.5kg|
|14||1213×35||ADDICTIVE NATURE||C||3||Bjorn Baker||14||56.5kg|
|16||112×12||SIEGE OF QUEBEC||C||3||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||16||56.5kg|
|17||7x425659x0||ESHTIRAAK||G||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||17||56.5kg|
|18||12x2273x2||SALSAMOR (NZ)||C||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||18||56.5kg|
|19||1125×4||ASSIMILATE||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||19||56.5kg|
|21||215×113||BRAVE SONG||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||21||56.5kg|
|22||312×17||PEACEFUL STATE||C||3||Darren Weir||22||56.5kg|
|23||311×6||KAONIC (NZ)||C||3||Chris Waller||23||56.5kg|
|24||66x214x42||MR SO AND SO||G||3||Anthony Freedman||24||56.5kg|
|25||8x142223x6||BLACK SAIL (NZ)||C||3||Aaron Purcell||25||56.5kg|
|28||145×44||MAHALANGUR (NZ)||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||28||56.5kg|
|29||74×1||TANGMERE (NZ)||C||3||Chris Waller||29||56.5kg|
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