Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
Cliff’s Edge has retained favouritism in the Australian Guineas 2018 odds despite the Darren Weir-trained galloper suffering a blow with a wide barrier for Saturday’s Flemington feature.
Due to run as Flemington Race 7 at 4:30pm (AEDT), this season’s Group 1 $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) attracted a full field of 16 plus two emergencies.
Cliff’s Edge drew gate 16 and will come into 15 at best, but remains top fancy in the Australian Guineas betting markets at $4.20 for the win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Recent history shows that two Australian Guineas winners in the past six years overcame similarly wide alleys with Mosheen (16 of 16) in 2012 and Palentino (15 of 15) in 2016.
The latter, Palentino, was prepared by Weir who is back chasing more success this Melbourne Festival of Racing with the top fancy Cliff’s Edge along with Peaceful State ($14).
Twelve months ago Hey Doc (2017) became the first Australian Guineas favourite since Light Fantastic (2008) to salute for the punters.
Canford Cliffs colt Cliff’s Edge is now looking to go back-to-back for favourite backers.
He is also out to break his Flemington maiden at his fifth start at the track.
A first-up winner of the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m), Cliff’s Edge was last seen running second to Grunt in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on February 17 – a race that has produced the past three Australian Guineas champions.
Despite the size of the Australian Guineas field there are just two other single-figure hopefuls in the mix with the CS Hayes Stakes winner Grunt ($5.50) and the early market mover Aloisia ($8.50 into $7).
The progressive Mick Price-trained O’Reilly colt Grunt also suffered a blow with a wide Australian Guineas barrier draw, the in-form bay to jump from the second widest gate.
Price prepared back-to-back Australian Guineas winners in 2008-09 and looks to have a genuine winning hope in 2018 with Grunt taking his career record to three wins from four starts with the three-quarter length CS Hayes success a fortnight back.
The Kiwi-bred three-year-old also has winning form over a mile from Boxing Day in Adelaide so will only enjoy the extra metres this weekend chasing a double recently completed by Wandjina (2015) and Hey Doc (2017).
Shamrocker (2011) and Mosheen (2012) went back-to-back in the Australian Guineas results for the fillies and this season it is Aloisia and Bring Me Roses representing the girls in barriers 13 and one respectively.
Aaron Purcell saddles-up Azamour filly Aloisia who is second-up this season out to improve on the close fifth when two lengths beaten fresh in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m).
She defeated Cliff’s Edge by three and a half-lengths last October in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on the back of her Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) win over the Caulfield mile and could give the colts a shake-up again second-up on the weekend.
Bring Me Roses meanwhile is at a juicy $21 in Australian Guineas betting despite her inside barrier one draw, which produced last year’s champ, the fellow Tony McEvoy-trained Hey Doc.
McEvoy has last year’s winning jockey Luke Currie aboard his High Chaparral filly who ran second in the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) last November before her second in The Vanity.
The best of the other double-figure chances meanwhile include the Bjorn Baker-trained Savabeel colt from Sydney Addictive Nature ($11) and Price’s Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss ($13) back against his own kind after unplaced WFA runs in the CF Orr and Futurity Stakes.
2018 Australian Guineas Betting Odds
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