The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Hong Kong’s Zac Purton travelled back down under to Sydney on Saturday and was rewarded with a Group 1 double completed by his upset success aboard Communist in the 2023 Randwick Guineas results.
One race earlier Purton had denied James McDonald and the favourite Imperatriz victory in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) when bursting through aboard the globe-trotting Artorius first-up to salute.
Purton was back in the winner’s stall again in the day’s marquee race getting through at the right time on the Michael Freedman-trained Russian Revolution gelding Communist ($16) in the Group 1 $1 million Randwick Guineas (1600m).
Communist enjoyed his first win since September last year and broke his black-type maiden in style taking out the Group 1 having been given a gun ride throughout settled just off the pace in fifth.
It was Hollywood Hero leading them around in the Guineas travelling well in front around the turn before being tackled on the home straight.
Chris Waller‘s nicely-bred Lonhro colt Lindermann, also up in grade, moved up to take the lead after a clear run in second throughout.
Purton however broke through aboard the looming Communist at the 150m and charged home unchallenged late to finish 1.3 lengths clear of fellow 15/1 outsider Lindermann.
Rounding out the Randwick Guineas trifecta in third was John O’Shea‘s perennial place-getter Zou Tiger ($4.20) who crossed just a nose ahead of the beaten favourite Aft Cabin ($2.60F) for Godolphin who was right back the entire trip never presenting as a genuine threat.
“He went really well. Just struggled to stay that trip,” jockey J. Mac said after hoping off Aft Cabin.
The underrated horse in the field, Communist was excellent third-up peaking at the right time to improve on his lead-up seventh in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) when ridden by Jason Collette.
“It didn’t really suit going to the front the other day in the Hobartville,” winning trainer Freedman told the media post-race.
“I think having a set of fresh eyes with Zac coming from Hong Kong, I’m not going to tie him down with instructions.
“He’s a world class rider and it’s great to have him back and obviously I’m rapt with the result, more so for the people that are involved with this horse. They’ve been very staunch owners of mine.
“He hasn’t been the easiest horse so far he’s been a bit quirky, but I think he’s got a bit of a future.
“He’s been a bit of a problem child for a while, but I’d had a lot of faith in his ability.
“His work on Monday at Hawkesbury was first class. I think maybe just having Zac here, not too many preconceived ideas. We just said ‘ride him how you feel he’s traveling.’ He is a better chaser, I’ve always felt that there’s this sort of run in him.”
Freedman is now seriously considering a shot at the Group 1 $4 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) with Communist back at Royal Randwick on April 1 during ‘The Championships’ for which the horse is now exempt from ballot.
“There’s probably a lot of options to have a look at, he could be a lightweight Doncaster horse,” he said.
“His record at the mile here at Randwick is second to none. He ran a narrow placing in the Dulcify and a narrow placing behind Golden Mile in the big race (the Group 2 $1 million Callander-Presnell) in the spring.
“I think he’s got a pretty good future.”
A potential other option for Communist is to step him up in distance for a shot at the Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on Golden Slipper Day, March 18.
“I think you’d have a think about it,” Freedman said of the further distanced target.
All-in 2023 Rosehill Guineas odds have Communist on top at $5 to complete the double for the first time since The Autumn Sun (2019).
Click here for the updated Rosehill Guineas pre-field betting markets.
2023 Randwick Guineas Results & Finishing Order
|1||8||COMMUNIST||Michael Freedman||Zac Purton||5||56.5kg||$16|
|2||9||LINDERMANN||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||1.3L||9||56.5kg||$16|
|3||4||ZOU TIGER||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||1.91L||4||56.5kg||$4.20|
|4||3||AFT CABIN||James Cummings||James McDonald||1.99L||8||56.5kg||$2.60F|
|5||6||WILLIAMSBURG||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Ryan Maloney||2.64L||6||56.5kg||$10|
|6||5||MATCHA LATTE||Mark Newnham||Tom Sherry||3.4L||3||56.5kg||$5|
|7||14||CUT ON A DIME||Bryce Heys||Tyler Schiller (a)||5.58L||2||56.5kg||$41|
|8||1||MANZOICE||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||5.8L||10||56.5kg||$17|
|9||13||HOLLYWOOD HERO (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||7.28L||1||56.5kg||$26|
|10||7||PROMITTO||David Atkins||Christian Reith||8.84L||7||56.5kg||$101|
|2||OSIPENKO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||0|
|11||THE FORTUNE TELLER||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||0|
|10||HOLYMANZ (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||0|
|12||ATTRITION||Mitchell Freedman||Craig Williams||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2021 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.