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Australian Guineas Preview and Best Bet

Fri, Mar 2, 2:16am by Staff Writer

Melbourne racing is at Flemington on Saturday for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m). The rail is in the true and the track will be in the good range.

A capacity field of 16 (plus two emergencies) have accepted for the Guineas with the Darren Weir-trained Cliff’s Edge ($4.60) opening as favourite. The colt resumed in the G3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) with a win – which then shot him to pre-post favouritism for the race – before running second to Grunt ($6) in the G3 CS Hayes (1400m) here at Flemington after that. Both at the top of the markets, they’ve drawn barriers 16 and 17 respectively.

Grunt has had four race starts, winning his past three including the CS Hayes last start. Before that he won a BM64 – by 3.5L – at Morphettville on Boxing Day which came after a 4L maiden win at Werribee. His debut run back in May 2017 was an eye catching third to Aloisia ($7.50) over the Flemington 1400m.

He’s one of three runners for Mick Price with Holy Snow ($17) and Mighty Boss ($13) the others. Holy Snow comes off a G3 win in the Autumn Stakes (1400m) when storming home from the back of the field while Mighty Boss was a surprise winner of the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) during the spring when sneaking past Kementari at the friendless odds of 100-1. This preparation, he’s met the older horses at WFA and comes into this third-up.

Aloisia is second-up after resuming when fifth of 11 in the G3 Vanity (1400m) where she ran as a drifting favourite. Second-up last prep she took out the G1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) before going on to beat Cliff’s Edge in the G2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).

Main Stage ($15) has a victory over Cliff’s Edge at the track and he’s second-up after running home strongly for fourth – beaten under 2L – in the CS Hayes while stable mate Salsamor ($41) has one maiden win and five minors from his seven starts.

Tony McEvoy won this race last year with Hey Doc and he lines up with Bring Me Roses ($19) this year. Addictive Nature ($10) is down from Sydney in what could be an effort to avoid the G1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) next week while stable mate to the favourite, Peaceful State ($13) has always had a big wrap on him and he was a strong winner two starts back in BM70 grade at the Sandown midweeks.

Outside of the feature, it’s a somewhat disappointing day. There were 17 nominations for the Listed Roy Higgins (2600m) – with Lloyd Williams nominating eight himself – alas a field of only seven will line up with the Williams pair of Aloft ($2.80) and Foundry ($3.50) vying for favouritism.

Poetic Dream ($3.20) is an interesting runner for Team Hayes/Daberning in the Group 3 Autumn Handicap (1400m). A lightly raced four-year-old entire, he’s an overseas purchase who’s won two from five with a further two minors. Tshahitsi ($3.90) has won 12 from his 27 starts and although last in the G1 CF Orr (1400m) at his most recent run, he was only beaten 3.45L in what’s a good form race. He won two from three before that and is two from five at the track. Nozomi ($12) is down on the limit and did win at this track and distance last time when first-up at 150-1.

SUGGESTED BET: Poetic Dream is a massive watch and he’s been backed in early markets but leaning slightly to Tshahisti ($3.90, race 6, number 1). He’s a consistent horse who always puts in, and although he’s coming off a ‘last’, that was solid G1 company and this is certainly not. One has to respect any moves for Poetic Charm and he might be worth a saver.

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