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October 20th, 2010 11:32 M

Preview of the Australian Spring Guineas Final

23 Oct SYDN7 3yo Guineas Final (1600m Gr. I)
Sponsored by Maestro

The race is to be held at Sydney Harbour Racecourse, Australia, at 03:30, Sat 23 Oct 10, 03:30

Starting from gate 1, Horta Velocity brings a big reputation into this final. Bred by top stable breeder Riddley Walker Racin, and son of top 5 enabled stud Jobim, Zonic Racing has brought a top contender here in Sydney. He was never raced as a 2yo, but spent tons of hours on the training track accumulating race and track experience.

Made his debut in the Guineas Preview, finishing strongly in the final quarter to finish 3 rd behind Delizia and Ashleigh Brown. Qualified at ease in the Prelude 4th behind the trio of fillies Ashleigh Brown, Manita De Porco and Delizia, there was never any doubt that the final was the main target for Zonic Racing. Those 2 races were just warm ups for this colt.

One of the highest rated gallopers in the field, and armed with an eye-popping 19xp in this distance, expect Horta Velocity to be the hot favourite with the punters this weekend. One of the many fast finishers in the field, expect him to come out of the blocks early with multiple Cup winning jockey Athena Yagin on board, travel in mid pack and launch a final burst to overhaul the front runners. Statisticians would be watching this one closely, and if Horta Velocity were to fulfil his destiny, expect some trainers to alter their training towards experience for future instalments of this Cup.

Just outside in gate 2 is Skelly, a big long striding Competitive colt racing under the ownership of Pitt Steelers. In more ways than one, Skelly shares similar traits as Horta Velocity. Never raced as a 2yo, but plenty of experience gained from the training track.

In his debut, he ran 4th, finishing strongly in the final quarter to grab a purse. He can boast something that Horta Velocity cannot though. He won his Semi run last weekend, breaking away to take the lead in the 3rd quarter and hanging on at the finish, beating the fast finishing B’s Erhaab by a neck in a photo finish.

Another contender to win the Cup, his Competitive trait might prove crucial in a tight field close to the
rail. Pitt Steelers has signalled his intention clearly by flying in his top pupil jockey Myrta Mancias to ride Skelly, and this fella is a proven winner here in Sydney with The Razor’s Edge last season in the Golden Longs. Skelly would receive huge backing, and no one would be surprised if he brings back the Cup.

Prancess Gloria, a Turkish-bred filly, is the one of only 2 Mudlarks in this race. One of the lowest rated gallopers entered, she represents Prancing Winners’ first foray into this competition. She spent her 2yo season racing in lower stakes races to accumulate experience, and the Guineas is her first taste of top level racing.

Bought for a bargain 15k, Prancess Gloria had been trained with this competition in mind since her trainer watched the final last season and Carmella’s excellent run in this competition. She ran 10th in
the Preview, but that was never her distance. Off the radar in the Preludes, she surprised everyone with a strong finish in the final quarter, overhauling front runners William Webber and Jim Dandy Sabre and stable mate Prancess Anne to win Sunday’s only race to earn her biggest single purse to date.

This field is the strongest she has ever raced against, so a win would be a big surprise. She would love the extra distance, and if she can find that final kick with her regular jockey just as the previous race, expect her to place well. And if Lady Luck was to shine on her to rain on Saturday, she might just earn a purse for her stable.

The first of 3 entries from Rainbow Lovers, William Webber is the lowest rated of them all, but arguably the most well-known. Raced in the European Sprint Tour series last season, this Competitive colt has achieved great success, winning 2 legs of the series, and only missed out on a purse in the final race.

Bringing that hot streak of form into the Guineas as he turns 3, William Webber won the Preview with a well timed burst at the end to beat Be’s Erhaab. He duelled with Willow’s Elite's entry Jim Dandy Sabre in the Prelude most of the race, before hanging on to 4th, behind the Fast Finishing Prancing Winners' pair of Prancess Gloria and Prancess Anne.

Despite his good form, he tired late in his previous race, and at 1600m, it might be too much for him in the final. And he would need to recover quickly in time to race. An outside bet, but if he could be fit by Saturday, he might just surprise.

The only filly out of the 3 Rainbow Lovers entries, Big Green Monster is no stranger to top level racing. She made her debut in the Might & Power stakes, the 2nd leg of the Blue Diamond Stakes in Australia, before heading out to Europe to race in the European Tour Long Series. In each of those 5 races contested as a 2yo, Big Green Monster lived up to her name, and came back in the money on all occasions, losing to last season’s top 2yo, Of Glory, of woodchuckers, on no less on 3 occasions, which is no disgrace to any horse.

Coming into the Guineas, she showed her top level experience once again, and was looking for a shock win over this distance at 1400m before Prancess Anne pounced late on to romp home, and Green Cat's Dark Green Energy passed her for 2nd just before the finish. In the Prelude, Big Green Monster finished out of the money for her first time in her career, coming home 6 th among the chasing pack behind the winner Skelly.

Rainbow Lovers has partnered her with regular jockey Ha Mooneyhan so the intention is clear. She should love the extra distance, but the main concern would be her vet assessment, which seemed to indicate a high chance of picking up an injury in this race. And her low experience in this distance would count against her in this field. She would need luck and run the race of her life to take the Cup.


The final Rainbow Lovers entry is the Fast Finisher Beach Party. He spent his 2yo racing career jetting between Australia and Europe, participating in both the Phar Lap Series and European Tour Medium.

He won on his debut in the Weekend Hussler Stakes, the 2nd leg of the Phar Lap Series, beating Manita De Porco, and also won on his European debut in the Europe Tour Leg 2 Medium. That turned out to be his only wins.

In his 2 runs here in the Guineas, he performed respectably, running 5th in the Preview won by Delizia, and scraped into the final with his 8th place in the most competitive Prelude won by Ashleigh Brown.

Facing the best of the crop in this final, and relatively inexperienced over this distance, this race might be a step too far for Beach Party. Despite so, expect some sort of strategy involved from Rainbow Lovers owner to perhaps produce at least one runner in the money.

Be’s Erhaab, comes with a superb bloodline. A late week 3 foal, he is sired by retired top stud Iberian Prince out of B’s Salsabil, a two-winner of the Magic Mile. He was trained heavily in his 2yo season, notching his only win on his debut in a minor stakes race, before announcing his arrival in competitive racing in the season ending Europe Tour Medium Final race, losing only to the top 2yo miler last season, Dante’s Tombstone.

In his 2 races here in Sydney, Be’s Erhaab has continued to impress, placing 2nd both times, losing to William Webber in the Preview, and Skelly in the Prelude, which is no disgrace given the strong field present.

A long striding colt, he might need some distance before picking momentum, but the extra 100m in the final might actually suit him better. There’s no doubting his pedigree, and an xp of 5 is decent so he might finally shed the unwanted bridesmaid tag. However, the enforced change of his jockey might be crucial and it remains to be seen if the new partnership might work in his favour. Despite so, a horse in form should never be ignored.

The stable pride of Los Bravos, this Portuguese-bred top 5 enabled daughter of Popoy, is one of the many top level fillies competing in this final. Manita exploded onto the scene early in her career, finishing 1-2-1 in the prestigious Phar Lap series in Australia. She suffered an early season injury, which curtailed her progress, and was off the boil in her races towards the tail-end of the season.

Coming into the Guineas, she was in poor form, and finished a disappointing 11th in the Preview. Punters overlooked the fact that she had an apprentice jockey on board, and hence she started the Prelude as a big outsider. True enough, she returned to form and was duelling with top European raider Ashleigh Brown most of the race before finishing a respectable 2nd, ahead of Phar Lap Stakes runner up Delizia.

Los Bravos had won the Guineas before, so the experience is there. One thing to note is the change of jockey for this race despite the fine 2nd last weekend. This is no enforced change so it might point to her trainer’s strategy here. The jockey’s a bit heavy for Manita De Porco, but one should never doubt a previous winner of this Cup to pull out another rabbit out of the hat.


The only Natural Champion in the race, Srawberry Lava was never raced until the end of season when he made his debut in the Rafindale Romp over 1600m and promptly came in 2nd, losing only to the fast finishing Awesome Score, which romped home to win by a full second.

His last 2 runs in the Guineas was decent, a 6th in the Preview and 5th in the weaker Sunday Prelude. In both races, he never really threatened the leaders, so we have yet to see his true form yet.

The final is a long shot for this colt, though the change to an aggressive jockey might prove inspired if he were to finish in the placings. With the NC trait, the extra distance should not bother him. The only doubt is his low experience at this distance, and coupled with his low OR, he would be considered a definite outsider for the title.

This British-bred colt, and son of I Love You Wigan, is the 3rd entry in the final that has never raced before making his debut in the Guineas. Perfect Storm has spent a full season getting him ready for this Cup and he would be pleased to see him here.

So far in his 2 races in the Guineas, Alaska Sun Rise has shown promise competing at the top level, and placed 4th and 6th in the Sunday Preview and Prelude won by Prancess Anne and Prancess Gloria respectively.

He would be partnered by his regular jockey Evelynn Hainesworth, so understanding and chemistry would not be an issue. However, this field is the strongest he would tackle in his young career so a place would be the best possible result for him.

One of the cornerstones of Joe Birds’ European Apprentice League title last season, this filly brings a superb track record to Sydney. Ashleigh Brown has never finished outside of the top 2 placings, and this record is unrivalled in this field.

She’s coming into this race as the most in-form horse, coming in 2nd in the Preview and winning her Prelude on Saturday.

We had an European winner in Hipoliner last season, and Ashleigh Brown represents Europe’s biggest threat in this final. Expect her to be close, and resume her rivalry with Delizia up front. Her low xp at this distance might count against her, but underestimate her at your own peril.

Racing on the outside of Ashleigh Brown is the familiar sight of Delizia, the daughter of up-and-coming stud Efficient. With over a million in purses, Shaggy Dogs has brought a filly with plenty of top level experience and success. She raced in the Australian 2yo Phar Lap Series, and ran 2nd in the final leg, the Phar Lap stakes at 1800m, on this very track.

She ran a very impressive time in the Preview, duelling neck to neck with Ashleigh Brown before eking out the win. Last weekend, she could not repeat the feat but still finished a good 3rd behind Ashleigh Brown and Manita De Porco.

Delizia would be very familiar to local supporters here and expect her home advantage to pull her through. With good xp at this distance, and fitness not an issue, expect Delizia to be among the front runners early, and try to hang on from the challenge from the chasing pack. Shaggy Dogs has won this competition before, and Delizia might just do it again.

This Guyana-bred colt is the entry the Greatest Stable Ever has sent to Sydney to compete for the Guineas. He raced thrice as a 2yo, all in the Europe Tour Medium, and finished 3rd twice. Coming into the final, he is yet to break his maiden.

He only finished 5 th and 7 th in his 2 races here, but he did finish very strongly in his final quarter in the Prelude. Only Ashleigh Brown and Prancess Gloria clocked quicker times in the final quarter out of all the entries, so this colt is no slouch.

With his regular jockey astride, a strong understanding is expected. He has decent experience over this distance, and his style should suit the extra 100m in the final. Expect this colt to place well, and with some luck, bring home a nice purse to his trainer.

The highest rated galloper in this field, Aragen Herald, the son of retired top stud Frodo, came into the Guineas as a ranked outsider. He came with a 2.2 million price tag, but was never seen in top level racing. In addition, he was lightly raced in his 2yo career and raced 1700m and beyond, so this Cup would seem too short for him.

Despite so, he has shown that he deserves his place in the final, finishing 4th behind the highly rated front trio of Delizia, Ashleigh Brown and Horta Velocity in the Preview and 3rd behind Skelly and Be’s Erhaab in the Prelude, so he certainly has the pedigree. The performance also silenced his detractors that he cannot run in the shorter distances.

Breaking from an outside gate, he should not be caught in traffic, and this would allow this colt to make up ground late with his Fast Finisher style. Given his prior experience in the longer races, this distance should not trouble him. Expect his jockey to take this mount among the front runners early, and keep him close to the leaders, before launching a late burst. SF Giants has won plenty trophies, so this entry might finally bring that elusive Cup missing from the cabinet.

Bolting out from gate 15 is Paprika, another Fast Finisher to enter the race. This filly has only raced twice in her 2yo career and only 1 win thus far. However, that only win came at the season ending Phar Lap Stakes and that point to a top level contender.

She has not shown her form yet in the Guineas thus far, finishing 6th and 4th in the Preview and Prelude respectively, but that could be a strategy to conserve energy for the big event this weekend.

A little bit of an unknown given her form, but a Phar Lap winner cannot be ignored. Expect her to compete and place well, and if her odds are high, it might be worth the small bet.

The final entry is Samantha Miss, a filly bred by top breeder Riddley Walker Racin. She was sold as an unborn foal along with her dam to her current owner. She began her racing career in Australia, taking part in the first 3 legs of the 2yo Australian Golden Slipper series but was unplaced in all 3 outings. Her best performance came in her final race before she turned 3 at Erie Free in Ireland, where she was in contention for the win before fading late to grab 3 rd for her biggest purse to date.

Heading back to Sydney, Samantha Miss was never in contention with the leaders in both rounds, finishing 7th in the Preview and qualified for the final as the fastest 9th place finisher.

Given the strong field assembled in the final, and with little form coming in, she would be ranked as a big outsider. At 1600m, the distance seems too short for her, and with the track conditions expected to be Good on Saturday, this Mudlark filly would find the going tough. She might place well if she gets a good start on the outside early.

Race Predictions

Expect a duel near the rail between Horta Velocity and Skelly, while Delizia, Manita De Porco and Ashleigh Brown resume their rivalry in the middle for the lead early. Aragen Herald and Paprika should lead the chasing pack along with Be’s Erhaab and Great-Tiger’s Wood.

Quinella: 2-1

Place: 12-14-7-11


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