Expectations are high for Australian Guineas Day
The $1 million Group 1 Kennedy Australian Guineas promises to be one for the ages, with a full field of the best three-year-old milers all attempting to write their names in the record books.
The Group 3 C.S. Hayes Stakes has long been considered a good form race for the Guineas and this year’s winner, Tagaloa, currently heads the market. His win in the C.S Hayes marked a convincing return to form for the well-credentialed colt who won the Blue Diamond in his two-year-old season but didn’t have things fall his way during spring. He will face stiff competition from runner-up Aysar, along with Zou Dancer, who won the fillies’ equivalent, the Group 3 TAB Vanity, on Black Caviar, The Great Horse Race Day. Also intriguing is dual Group 1 winner Ole Kirk and Western Australian horse Dom To Shoot, who was fifth in the C.S Hayes Stakes but ran third against older horses in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic at weight-for-age in December.
The $500,000 Inglis Dash returns to Flemington this year and has attracted a strong field of three-year-old sprinters, including Sydney hotpot Rocketing By, who recently claimed the $1 million Inglis Sprint at Randwick, his third victory in a row. Unbeaten Kennedy Racing filly Written Miss will face her toughest challenge yet, but does have experience up the Flemington straight having won a Benchmark 70 handicap for three-year-olds here in December.
The Group 2 Darley Blamey Stakes will see Fifty Stars bidding to become the first horse to win this race three years in a row. He will have to contend with a competitive field including Group 1 winners Best of Days and Mirage Dancer, along with Tasmanian cult hero Mystic Journey, who won both the Australian Guineas and the All-Star Mile in 2019. The winner of the race will earn ballot-exemption for the All-Star Mile, to be held at Moonee Valley this year.
Queensland phenomenon The Harrovian has won his last eleven starts and makes his first Victorian appearance since 2018 in the Group 3 TAB Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap.
The Listed ATA/Bob Hoysted Handicap will see multiple Group 1 winner Hey Doc return to Flemington, where he won the 2017 Australian Guineas along with the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap down the Flemington straight. He will have to carry 63kg on Saturday and contend with Perth sprinting sensation Fabergino, who won this race last year and has a further two victories up the Flemington straight, as well as running a creditable fourth in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning last start.