Spectacular horses continue to target Flemington races
Australian Guineas Day saw 10,000 people descend upon Flemington Racecourse to kick start the Flemington Racing Spectacular, setting the scene for some more thrilling racing across March.
The Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) was won by New Zealand visitor Legarto, trained by husband and wife duo Ken and Bev Kelso. Ridden by New Zealand-born jockey Michael Dee, the filly narrowly defeated Attrition and Japanese Emperor. The daughter of Proisir will now not be seen again in the autumn, with the trainers keen to aim the filly at the TAB Champions Stakes in the spring, adding some X-factor to the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap looks to be one of the races of the autumn, with I Wish I Win, Private Eye, In Secret, Roch ‘N’ Horse and Mazu all lining up in the race.
Trainer Mike Moroney is hoping that Roch ‘N’ Horse can go back-to-back and join the likes of Aspen (1880-81), Gothic (1927-28), Correct (1960-61), Razor Sharp (1982-83) and Redkirk Warrior (2017-18) to win the race twice. She was doing her best work late in the Oakleigh Plate and boasts two wins and two seconds from four runs down the straight.
Coolmore Stud Stakes winner In Secret is one of the most promising three-year-old fillies in the country and with only 51.5kg and gun jockey Jamie Kah in the saddle, she will be very hard to beat.
She is looking to become the second filly in the 150-year history of the race to win the Coolmore and return to win the Newmarket, a feat only achieved previously by Sunlight in 2019. Sunlight will be honoured during the Flemington Racing Spectacular with the Listed Sunlight Classic (1100m) featured on the undercard of TAB Australian Cup Day with elite three-year-olds competing for $500,000 in stakes money.
This includes Benedetta, another three-year-old filly whose form in the Inglis Sprint (1200m) up the straight on Australian Guineas Day cemented her status as one to follow.
Others to watch on Super Saturday include Front Page, the Corowa sprinter that trainer Geoff Duryea will be hoping gives him his first Group 1 winner as a trainer. Geoff was a champion Melbourne apprentice and rode in the 1972 Melbourne Cup.
The Australian Cup Prelude (2000m) will give a good preview to the Group 1 TAB Australian Cup (2000m) on March 25, with 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare entered after a first up second in the Listed Victoria Gold Cup at Sandown (2100m). The winner of that race, Right You Are, is going for five wins in a row and will look to control the race up near the speed.
Connections of Group 2 Blamey Stakes winner Nonconformist appear unlikely to take up a wildcard for the $5 million All-Star Mile, with trainer Grahame Begg confirming the 6yo gelding will target the Group 1 $3 million Australian Cup (2000m).
Two horses aimed at The Lexus Roy Higgins (2600m) on TAB Australian Cup Day are Sir Lucan and Soulcombe, both owned by groups headed up by managing owner Ozzie Kheir. A Listed winner in England, Sir Lucan is a strong stayer trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and was impressive leading all the way in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m), while Soulcombe, trained by Chris Waller caught the eye after a dominant Group 3 Queen's Cup (2600m) triumph at his first Australian start on Champions Day over the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Don't miss out on tickets! Australia's most famous sprinting handicap, the $1.5 million Group 1 Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap (1200m), is a highly anticipated date on the racing calendar for racing purists and eventgoers alike.