The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The James Cummings-trained Beau Geste is one of the headline three-year-olds in Saturday’s Sandown Guineas 2017 field at Ladbrokes Park backing-up off a big VRC Derby Day run.
Due to run as Race 8 at 4:40pm (AEST) at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s final race day of the season, this year’s Group 2 $250,000 Ladbrokes Sandown Guineas (1600m) features 11 hopefuls.
The key lead-up into the mile feature over the past decade or so has been the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington a fortnight earlier on Derby Day.
The best out of that event backing-up in the Sandown Guineas on Saturday is the Godolphin-raced Street Cry colt Beau Geste who ran under a length away fourth.
Now experienced at a mile, the galloper and Group 2 placegetter gets the chance to improve and end his spring preparation with a win on Zipping Classic Day from gate four with jockey Damian Lane retaining the ride.
The other key Carbine Club Stakes graduate in the Sandown Guineas line-up this spring is the Darren Weir-trained fifth placed Snitzepeg.
A winner of back-to-back Listed races over 1400m leading-up to the Derby Day run, Snitzel colt Snitzepeg was just a nose further back than Beau Geste also having his first 1600m start that day.
Jockey Craig Williams is replaced this weekend by Dean Yendall who rides Snitzepeg for the first time since the Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m) victory at Flemington on October 7.
Weir has also accepted for the lightly-raced Peaceful State, the Animal Kingdom colt having just his third career start stepping up to black-type company for the first time from the outside barrier (11).
Also dually represented in the Sandown Guineas field in 2017 are Peter & Paul Snowden with outside hopes Hypnotist and Icon Of Dubai.
Aaron Purcell has a strong hand in the quarter-of-a-million-dollar feature saddling-up the consistent Black Sail from gate five and Villermont in barrier nine.
Mark Zahra rides Savabeel colt Black Sail, the youngster coming off back-to-back seconds.
The first was over the Caulfield mile on October 18 in a Benchmark 70 before he stepped-up in distance for the Listed Seppelt Wines Stakes (1800m) on Crown Oaks Day.
Black Sail was only a neck off the Gary Moore-trained upset winner All Too Huiying that day and gets the chance to go one better back to a mile this weekend.
Stablemate Villermont has also been racing well this campaign including the lead-up fourth in the same Caulfield, 1600m race from last month.
The other standout Sandown Guineas hope is the Tony McEvoy-trained Vinland drawn a treat in gate three with Luke Currie booked to ride the progressive Sebring colt who comes off a two length Bendigo win from November 1 over 1400m.
2017 Sandown Guineas Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ladbrokes Park Race 8 (4:40pm) – 18/11/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||150×524115||SNITZEPEG||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||7||57kg||80|
|2||1×31374||BEAU GESTE||James Cummings||Damian Lane||4||57kg||76|
|3||48×14222||BLACK SAIL (NZ)||Aaron Purcell||Mark Zahra||5||57kg||70|
|4||1×11549||HYPNOTIST||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6||57kg||70|
|5||6425×217||ICON OF DUBAI||Peter & Paul Snowden||Michael Walker||8||57kg||63|
|6||1×187||OCTABELLO||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||10||57kg||67|
|7||49×6417090||GIVE||John Moloney||Patrick Moloney||1||57kg||60|
|8||56×1||VINLAND||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||3||57kg||62|
|9||314||VILLERMONT||Aaron Purcell||Luke Nolen||9||57kg||63|
|10||31||PEACEFUL STATE||Darren Weir||John Allen||11||57kg||62|
|11||2x31x97462||I’LL HAVE A BIT||John McArdle||Jamie Mott||2||55kg||74|
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