The Randwick Guineas is one of the key races of the autumn, and a quality group of three-year-olds will clash on Saturday in what looms as a strong renewal, despite the field size having ebbed away a little. Very little separates the 4 high quality and well bred colts in the market, as evidenced by some close encounters to date (last months's Hobartville, less than 2 lengths between the quartet, and last spring's Golden Rose, both won by Hallowed Crown).
No doubt there will be a tight finish here again in a strong form race. Shooting To Win looks perfectly placed here - last year's Caulfield Guineas winner, he ran very well 1st up in the Hobartville, going down just 0.4 of a length, he has good second up form, the step up to the mile looks ideal, the stable and jockey are firing on all cylinders and he looks set for a big autumn.
The G1 Randwick Guineas is set to jump at 3:30pm (AEDT). Tune into Sky Racing for all the action!
Hallowed Crown will be the hardest to beat, ticking all of the boxes - a winner of 5 of his 6 starts, he has beaten home his major rivals the last 2 times they've clashed, he has won at Randwick (Kindergarten Stakes last year), is unbeaten second up and despite being no star at trackwork, races with the heart of a true top liner. His only query is perhaps at the mile, where he is untested.
Sweynesse and Scissor Kick are both genuine winning chances too , in a race that will see riding tactics play a big part. Preferment , the VRC Derby winner, oozes class and will improve on whatever he does on saturday - look for him running home late.
The Canterbury Stakes, a race that the likes of Pierro and More Joyous have won in recent years, has again attracted a high quality field. Many will use this race as a springboard to launch their tilt at the Championships later in the autumn. A tricky race to find the winner, as 7 of the 9 are resuming. The 2 race fit mares, Catkins and Cosmic Endeavour, both get their chance to beat the more seasoned horses at group 1 level.
The G1 Canterbury Stakes is set to jump at 4:10pm (AEDT). Watch all the action on Sky Racing!
Catkins (yet to win a group 1) comes into the race after 2 impressive victories against her own sex, but this is certainly a step up , and her main mission this prep could well be the Queen of the Turf in a few weeks.
Cosmic Endeavour , the group 1 Tatts Tiara winner of last year, ran a bottler in the Guy Walter and will be suited by the quick back up but meets the strongest field of her career. Leebaz and Fontelina have both trialled well and will race well fresh, definite winning hopes. The class horses of the race, Criterion, Sacred Falls and Royal Descent all have bigger fish to fry later in the Championships, but it would not surprise to see any or all of them run well 1st up.
Settling on Tiger Tees to win - he has an impeccable 1st up record, races best at this distance, has had a couple of soft trials, and did beat home Criterion, Royal Descent and Sacred Falls in the Warwick Stakes last year at a similar stage of their preparations, albeit on a wet track.
Expect he'll race on the pace and might be able to kick away from his rivals, to just hold off a fast finishing pack. Look for some big runs late from those horses resuming, in what should turn out to be a strong form race for the autumn.
G2 - The Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle Race (class 1)
G2 - The Stanjames.com Champion Hurdle Trial (class 1)
G2 - The Peter Marsh Steeple Chase (a Limited Handicap)
G2 - The Altcar Novices' Steeple Chase (class 1)
G2 - The Olbg.com Mares' Hurdle Race (class 1)