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The flying Victorem for Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham sits top of the Hawkesbury Guineas 2018 field and odds for Saturday’s three-years-old feature on Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day.
Running as Race 8 at 4:10pm (ATEST) as the penultimate event on the card, this season’s Group 3 $200,000 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) field attracted a 14-starter line-up.
Heading the latest Hawkesbury Guineas betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.80 to extend his winning streak to six on the trot is I Am Invincible gelding Victorem.
The bay gelding hasn’t lost since his fourth on debut in May last year and comes off a lead-up win in the lucrative $600,000 Country Championships Final (1400m) that he won by two and a half lengths at Randwick on April 7.
This weekend he is in black-type company for the first time off that impressive victory and despite the outside barrier draw (14 of 14), is clear favourite to continue his winning ways.
Jockey Ben Looker retains the ride on Victorem for his acid test in the Guineas and remains confident his horse can get the job done despite the gate.
“It’s not ideal drawing where we did but it’s not the end of the world,” Looker told Racing NSW this week.
“There’s no point going in with a plan to go forward or back because there’s no guarantee you’ll get in.
“I think there’s enough speed in the race that I won’t be trapped wide and I can get in somewhere. If I can follow something into the race at the 600m I have no doubt in my mind he can win.”
Four of his rivals are rated a single-figure chance at the upset including the Chris Waller-trained Sambro ($6.50).
The Fastnet Rock gelding is down in distance after an eighth in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) over the Randwick mile on April 7 and has been kept fit with a subsequent trial at Warwick Farm.
Waller has a trio of runners in this year’s Hawkesbury Guineas field also accepting for So You Win ($21) and Scream Park ($17) in barriers five and nine respectively.
The early Hawkesbury Guineas market mover backed in from $8.50 to $7 is Warranty drawn a treat in barrier two with Tim Clark to ride.
Prepared by Peter & Paul Snowden, the All Too Hard filly won her lead-up at Randwick’s Kensington track on April 18 over 1100m and has winning form up to Saturday’s 1400m distance.
She presents fitter second-up and should enjoy the extra metres dropping right back in weight from 57kg to 54kg making her a genuine chance to beat home the boys for the second year on the trot after the success of local filly Shazee Lee in 2017.
Rounding out the best in betting are then the lightly-raced Hawkes Racing-trained filly Montrachet ($8) on the drift despite a lead-up win at Rosehill from April 2 to break her maiden status and Godolphin’s Street Cry colt Beau Geste ($9) to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy.
2018 Hawkesbury Guineas Field & Betting
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