Last year’s seven-length champion Zaaki returns...
The Godolphin-raced Character looks likely to be given another shot at a Derby distance after a powerhouse win in the 2022 Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm by the beautifully-bred youngster on Victory Stakes Day.
The James Cummings-trained son of super sire Teofilo was given a gun ride by James Orman and was good late charging into the clear and hitting the line strongly to win the Group 2 $350,00 Queensland Guineas (1600m).
“He came here well-prepared by James (Cummings) and his team at home,” Orman told Thoroughbred Central post-win.
“I was the winner a long way out, I just had to find a run and away he went.”
One of the first lead-up races into the richer events of the upcoming Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, the Queensland Guineas serves as a good preparatory run for three-year-olds eyeing a start in the Group 1 $1 million Queensland Derby (2400m) over the mile and a half back at Eagle Farm on May 28.
The Queensland Guineas – Queensland Derby double however has not been completed since Camarena back in 1999.
Character lined-up in Melbourne’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at double-figures in the spring and failed to challenge finish a well-beaten eighth behind Hitotsu.
Now a gelding, he came back to win the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (1850m) at Newcastle third-up this campaign.
He failed to produce again in another disappointing staying test last time out when over 17 lengths beaten behind the same Derby champ – Hitotsu – in Sydney’s ATC Derby over the mile and a half on April 2.
Back to a mile in the Queensland Guineas and he was too strong for his rivals, Orman giving the eventual winner a patient ride just off the moderate speed before balancing up nicely and punching through the middle the closing stages.
The Auckland Guineas winning Kiwi raider, Dark Destroyer, presented as the only danger late but couldn’t catch Character who went on to win by a good margin displaying a lovely big action.
In a distant third rounding out the Queensland Guineas trifecta was the local Tony Gollan-trained Dundeel colt Ashgrove.
Orman remains hopeful Godolphin will give Character another crack at the mile and a half, the jockey believing the horse could be up to the distance based on how he won the Guineas.
“The way he ran through the line today, you’d probably have to have another crack,” he said.
“He gave me a good feel running through the line.
“Hopefully they keep prepping him towards the Derby.
2022 Queensland Guineas Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||CHARACTER||James Cummings||James Orman||1||57kg||$6|
|2||4||DARK DESTROYER (NZ)||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott||Sam Weatherley||0.75L||4||57kg||$18|
|3||12||ASHGROVE||Tony Gollan||Ryan Maloney||3L||6||57kg||$10|
|4||1||COASTWATCH||Chris Waller||Jim Byrne||3.1L||8||57kg||$5.50|
|5||5||CAPE BRETON||Chris Waller||Luke Dittman||3.3L||7||57kg||$18|
|6||7||SOUTHERN STOCK (NZ)||Chris Munce||Larry Cassidy||4.05L||10||57kg||$21|
|7||8||MENAZZI||Stuart Kendrick||Ms Tiffani Brooker||4.15L||12||57kg||$26|
|8||15||FESTIVAL DANCER||Matthew Smith||Ben Thompson||4.35L||13||55kg||$7|
|9||13||ANTONIO GIOVANNI||Chris Waller||Ms Samantha Collett||4.85L||11||57kg||$26|
|10||6||RED WAVE||Tony & Maddysen Sears||Andrew Mallyon||4.95L||5||57kg||$17|
|11||3||BEND THE KNEE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||5.05L||2||57kg||$4.40F|
|12||16||SEA RIPPLE||Chris Munce||Mark Du Plessis||5.55L||3||55kg||$26|
|13||14||KIPLING’S JOURNEY||Peter & Will Hulbert||Ryan Wiggins||5.95L||14||57kg||$151|
|14||9||WHITEWATER||David Vandyke||Boris Thornton||6.25L||9||57kg||$26|
|11||THREE WISE MEN||Edward Cummings||0|
|10||GREEN BELT (USA)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Jim Byrne||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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