Elliptical circling towards the Australian Guineas

13 February 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Saturday's C S Hayes Stakes to prove Group 1 springboard for Elliptical.

Saturday's C S Hayes Stakes at Flemington does not carry Group 1 status, but co-trainer Sam Freedman would like to think the $200,000 Group 3 can be a stepping stone to a deserved elite-level success later in the campaign for Elliptical.

The son of Dundeel has won just one of his six starts but is a two-time Group 1 runner-up, in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at consecutive starts last campaign.

"He's been knocking on the door and is stiff not to be a dual Group 1 winner, so hopefully he can get his time in the sun in something," Freedman said.

The $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 4 is the first Group 1 race Elliptical will contest this campaign.

But before that comes the C S Hayes Stakes, one of the key Australian Guineas lead-ups, and Freedman is happy with the way Elliptical has come to hand since rounding out his spring campaign with a seventh placing in the star-studded Champions Stakes (2000m).

The colt took part in an 800m Flemington jumpout last Friday (video below), in which he finished second to Group 1 star Alligator Blood, which was his third serious hit-out of the preparation but first with the blinkers he sports on raceday.

"That was his first trial this prep with the blinkers on, so that's the best work he's done so far this campaign and he seems to have come back really well," Freedman said.

"He's definitely strengthened up and he's a lot more settled, (more) relaxed and he's a lot more professional in everything he's doing."

Elliptical is among the nominations for the $5 million All-Star Mile, which will be run at The Valley a fortnight after the Australian Guineas, with Freedman suggesting the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on the same day was the other most likely start following the Australian Guineas.