The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The bookies are having a hard time separating the top two three-year-olds in Saturday’s Group 1 $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington with returning elite level champions Profondo and Hitotsu dominating the markets.
There’s a capacity 2022 Australian Guineas field gathered at HQ for Saturday including the first emergency Maurice’s Medad (14) with Chris Waller opting to scratch the widely-drawn Coastwatch who heads to Sydney for the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in the wet.
Updated Australian Guineas betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are dominated by two of the returning stars of the spring, the Richard Litt-trained Profondo at $4.40 and Hitotsu at $4.60 for the powerhouse duo of Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.
Drawn out in gate 15 for jockey Robbie Dolan, lightly-raced Deep Impact colt Profondo has his fourth career start fresh in the race and makes his Melbourne debut.
He was a fast improver during his first prep in Sydney last time in winning two of his three starts including the impressive two-length success in Randwick’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) back in October.
The danger in barrier two ridden by John Allen is Maurice colt Hitotsu who also won a Group 1 last time out at Flemington with an easy victory in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
It was a massive rise to fame from the former Wendy Kelly-trained youngster whose first run of the spring was a maiden at Donald over 1350m, so first-up at a mile here looks ideal.
Success fresh in the Australian Guineas will stamp Hitotsu as a genuine star after he overcame an awkward jump and far from smooth run to win the VRC Derby with maturity to come this prep.
In an exciting and open edition of this year’s event there’s a further three hopes under $10 in the Australian Guineas odds including the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained market mover Captivant ($7).
The Snowdens chase their first Australian Guineas victory and nicely-bred the Capitalist colt Captivant looks a genuine threat for the title.
He placed second behind Godolphin star Anamoe – odds-on to win the Randwick Guineas this Saturday – in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last October before things went amiss when last in the Cox Plate.
Captivant has had two runs this campaign, the latest a strong effort for third in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at this track which has been a key form race into the Australian Guineas in recent years.
The CS Hayes Stakes winner Pinstriped is also in the mix this weekend, the Enver Jusufovic-trained son of Street Boss looking to retain his undefeated status.
The classy chestnut is three-from-three leading up to his acid test in the Guineas and pays $7.50 to complete the CS Hayes Stakes – Australian Guineas double for the second time in two years following on from Alligator Blood (2020).
Rounding out the single-figure fancies is Forgot You ($8.50), the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Savabeel colt withdrawn from a soggy Randwick Guineas in favour of this run despite his far from stellar record at Flemington (4:0-0-1).
Winner of the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) in the spring before VRC Derby fifth, Forgot You resumed in the CS Hayes and produced one of the eye-catching runs in the event for fourth with improvement to come second-up in Saturday’s rematch over a mile.
2022 Australian Guineas Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||706x151x||HITOTSU||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||2||57kg||107|
|2||1x36728x63||CAPTIVANT||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ms Jamie Kah||10||57kg||107|
|3||121x||PROFONDO||Richard Litt||Robbie Dolan||15||57kg||107|
|4||8x311615x4||FORGOT YOU (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Mark Zahra||6||57kg||92|
|5||25x15432x8||ALEGRON||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||3||57kg||96|
|6||0x521324x1||COASTWATCH||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||18||57kg||92|
|7||19x6414x40||LIGHTSABER||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||57kg||95|
|8||00x1745x24||RANCH HAND||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||9||57kg||88|
|9||1×11||PINSTRIPED||Enver Jusufovic||Michael Dee||11||57kg||90|
|10||4218117×49||RHINOCEROS (NZ)||Emma-Lee & David Browne||Jamie Mott||5||57kg||74|
|11||5x151x7||SPIRIT OF GAYLARD (NZ)||Mitchell Freedman||Jordan Childs||8||57kg||77|
|12||1215×234||SHARP RESPONSE||Julius Sandhu||Beau Mertens||12||57kg||71|
|13||278×81||PRIX DE TURN (NZ)||Matthew Brown||Ben Allen||16||57kg||65|
|14||31x7740x11||ZERELLE||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Craig Newitt||17||57kg||73|
|15||112||PASCERO||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Damian Lane||7||57kg||78|
|16||53110×65||BON’S A PEARLA||Kevin Corstens||Brett Prebble||13||55kg||84|
|17e||3126x47x45||MAURICE’S MEDAD||Bjorn Baker||Joshua Parr||14||57kg||74|
|18e||116||CORONA LAD||Nathan Dunn||Thomas Stockdale (a)||1||57kg||68|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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