Australian Guineas Tips - Doc has Group 1 remedy

  • Caulfield Guineas form looks strongest.
  • Fitness an advantage for Doc
  • Confidence rating: 90%
Luke Currie riding Hey Doc wins the CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington

Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) sees a rematch between four of the first five home in the Caulfield Guineas, as well as 12 other talented gallopers.

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History says Divine Prophet won the Caulfield Guineas from Seaburge and Hey Doc with So Si Bon back in 5th place, while Land Of Plenty, who also lines up on Saturday, was further back in 9th place.

If you go back and watch the replay, it’s clear to see who produced the run of the race – and it wasn’t the winner or runner-up.

Divine Prophet settled midfield and saved ground along the inside before getting a saloon passage through and going home best.

Seaburge also enjoyed a nice run, was produced at the right time and didn’t really lose momentum as he angled clear and started to charge, but it was Hey Doc and So Si Bon that put in the real eye-catching runs.

Hey Doc was caught three deep for the trip with cover and came five wide on the turn before hitting the lead at the 200m mark and just peaking on his run late.

So Si Bon was forced to drop out to the rear from the wide gate, and when he was building momentum on the turn, he got stopped in his tracks and had to try and pick himself up again before doing his best work late.

Now, that was last preparation, and this talented bunch of three-year-olds are now embarking on their autumn campaigns.

Of that quartet, Divine Prophet was a little disappointing first-up in the CF Orr Stakes (1400m) but is sure to improve on that.

Hey Doc comprehensively took out the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) last start, while Seaburge finished 4.75 lengths away in 10th place.

So Si Bon was just outpaced over the shorter 1200m trip first-up this campaign, and being a 1600m to 2000m horse, he’ll certainly improve over the mile.

My main concern with three of the runners is their fitness levels in comparison to Hey Doc.

The Tony McEvoy-trained gelding has had two good hit-outs this preparation, and his peak performance last campaign was his 1.5-length Stutt Stakes (1600m) win at Moonee Valley at his third run from a spell.

I think he may have been a bit over the top in the Caulfield Guineas, and with a faultless preparation this time, added fitness advantage and a good gate, he’s the horse to beat.

Of course, there are other contenders outside of the quartet I’ve mentioned, and of those, dual Group 1-winner Prized Icon and the progressive Theanswermyfriend loom as possible threats. 

Australian Guineas Facts:

First run in 1986, the Australian Guineas was won by True Version when the race held Group 3 status before being elevated to a Group 1 the following year.

The honour roll lists some quality gallopers with the most recent winner of the Australian Guineas being Palentino in 2016.

Other former winners of the Australian Guineas include Military Plume (1987), Zabeel (1990), Triscay (1991), Mahogany (1994), Dash For Cash (2002), Reset (2004), Apache Cat (2006), Miss Finland (2007), Mosheen (2012), Shamus Award (2014) and Wandjina (2015).

From 1998 to 2000, the Australian Guineas was run over 2000m, and in 2007 the race was transferred to Caulfield Racecourse while track reconstruction took place at Flemington.

David Hayes and Lee Freedman have trained three Australian Guineas winners each; Hayes prepared King’s High (1989), Zabeel (1990) and Miss Finland (2007) while Freedman trained Mahogany (1994), Flying Spur (1996) and Mr Murphy (2001).

Favourites have claimed 11 of the past 30 Australian Guineas, but they have a terrible record in recent years with Light Fantastic the last favourite to win the race in 2008. Since then, eight favourites have gone under with all of them unplaced and only three finishing in the top five.

The Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) for colts & geldings and the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) for fillies are widely recognised as the ideal lead-up races to this event.

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Australian Guineas Tips - Doc has Group 1 remedy

Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) sees a rematch between four of the first five home in the Caulfield Guineas, as well as 12 other talented gallopers.

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