The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Flemington-based trainer David Hayes has been tempted to pursue a start in the 2011 Caulfield Guineas this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with his rising three-year-old Almahaab after the colt claimed a good win at Geelong on Tuesday.
The son of Redoute’s Choice debuted in February with a fast-finishing fifth, beaten two and a half lengths by Anevay in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington.
Showing good improvement at Geelong today, Almahaab scored a three-quarter length victory over the Peter Snowden-trained Segue in the VOBIS 2YO Maiden Plate (1200m) to break their maiden status and earn a possible shot at Group glory this spring racing season.
“I am sure he is city class but he needs to get out over a bit of ground,” Hayes said of Almahaab who was ridden by Steven Arnold on Tuesday.
“He will be entered for the Caulfield Guineas but I would say it might come too quick for him, but we will see.
“We will race him through his classes and progress towards the better-class races, but he will better in the autumn in the good ones.”
The $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) is set to run at Caulfield Racecourse on October 8.
Hayes has a nice association with Almahaab’s family, having trained his dam Nasmah’s half-brother Rewaaya.
Rewaaya enjoyed five carer wins including the 2006 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes earning over $725,000 in prize money.
Another promising galloper vying for the title of 2011 Caulfield Guineas winner is stablemate of the horse Almahaab beat on Tuesday, the fellow Snowden-trained Helmet.
While Snowden described Segue as “very immature” but “definitely city class”, Helmet has already proven themselves in the big race arena.
The Exceed And Excel colt played their part in the Darley juvenile cleansweep this year, winning both the Group 1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes and Group 1 Champagne Stakes during the autumn.
“He’ll kick off with two runs in Sydney maybe taking in the Golden Rose, and then come to Melbourne for the Guineas Prelude and then Guineas,” Snowden said of Helmet.
One of the showcase Sydney Spring Carnival races, the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) will run at Rosehill Gardens on September 9.
Then during the Melbourne Spring Racing Festival, the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) takes place on September 24 followed by the $1 million main event, the Caulfield Guineas 2011 a fortnight later.
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