Tue, Feb 28, 2:10pm by Senior Writer
If you ever want an example of the challenges facing the racing industry in this country, go no further than look at the fact two Group One 1600m Guineas races will be contested in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday.
A couple of weeks ago, Racing NSW CEO Peter V’Landys compared the rivalry between racing New South Wales and Victoria as being akin to KFC and McDonalds in a business sense.
That ‘business rivalry’ as V’Landys characterises it, stepped up a notch when Racing NSW announced The Everest, the $10 million 1200m race, Australia richest, will be staged on October 12, which is Caulfield Guineas Day in Victoria.
While competition can be a good thing in sport, it can also be counterproductive when you are both drinking from the same pool of talent.
Saturday is a great example of that. There are only so many Group One quality three-year-old milers in this country, and the fact that the Australian Guineas will be run the same day as the Randwick Guineas, will mean both races are poorer for the clash.
As it stands, with acceptances to be taken on Wednesday, 17 of the 27 nominations for the $1 million Randwick Guineas are also entered in the $750,000 Australian Guineas, which has 41 nominations.
The markets are somewhat clouded by the fact that Comin Through, who is $4.60 favourite for the Randwick Guineas, is $11 for the Australian Guineas. Likely Randwick starters Prized Icon ($21), Inference ($26) are also in the market for the Flemington feature, while Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet is $11 in both markets.
While it was generally expected that the Sydney-trained horses will stay up north, especially with the extra prizemoney on offer, the complicating factor in the Sydney weather with a rain-affected track expected again.
Melbourne, meanwhile, will have fine and warm weather throughout the week and Flemington is expected to be perfect.
Sydney does have the better support program, with the Group One Canterbury Stakes to be contested over the 1300m.
The best two-year-olds will contest the Todman and Riesling Stakes.
Menari is currently $2.75 favourite for the Todman, while the Riesling will draw much of the attention, with unbeaten Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign at $1.40 ahead of From Within at $4.20 and Magic Millions winner Houtzen at $6.
$3.50: Music Magnate
$5.50: Le Romain
$6.50: Ugo Foscalo
$17: Echo Effect
$21: Heavens Above
$34: Happy Clapper
$51: Too Good To Refuse
$1.40: She Will Reign
$4.20: From Within
$15: Villa Carlotta
$18: Lucky Louie
$51: She’s On Que
$51: Star Sensation
$101: Za Zi Ba
$201: Stella Victoria
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