I was working in the Sky Racing World studio last Saturday when the promising Alpine Eagle raced in the Autumn Classic at Caulfield. The race had about 300 metres to go when I said to a colleague “this favourite is in trouble”. Alpine Eagle at this stage was 6 lengths off the leaders and the winning post was fast approaching. I thought it was impossible he could pick them up. As the result shows – he got there right on the line! His closing effort over those last few hundred metres was quite extraordinary and rarely seen on racetracks.
The form around Alpine Eagle had been franked earlier in the day. The horse he beat by almost 6 lengths at his previous start – October Date - had won at Morphettville in impressive fashion.
Alpine Eagle, owned by South Australian wine magnate Wolf Blass has obviously come through what looked to be a testing run in good order for the astute Tony McEvoy to back him up in Saturday’s Australian Guineas at Flemington. The colt has drawn well in gate 7, has a world class rider on board in Douglas Whyte and looks hard to beat in the Guineas. With tab.com.au Alpine Eagle is $6.
Chris Waller’s Kermadec ($3.60) will be getting close to peak fitness at his third run back from a spell. The decision to send him to Melbourne for the Australian Guineas as opposed to the Randwick Guineas (being run on the same day this year!) appears to have merit as he will be dodging a stellar crop of three year olds in Sydney. The Flemington race is very good but for mine the Sydney race is stronger.
Check out the full TAB.com.au market for the G1 Australian Guineas here.
Kermadec is coming off a fast finishing 3rd in a very strong edition of the Hobartville Stakes in Sydney behind Hallowed Crown and will be ridden by another Hong Kong based jockey in Nash Rawiller.
Remember too Kermadec has won over the Flemington 1600 metres when taking the Carbine Club Stakes in the Spring.
I have a soft spot for gutsy Tasmanian three year old Admiral ($15) who faces his biggest test to date in Saturday’s Group 1. Admiral comes to the mainland with an impressive record of 12 starts for 9 wins and 3 placings – he never runs a bad race. Last start he defeated the iconic local galloper and multiple Melbourne winner The Cleaner in the George Adams stakes at Launceston. He’s also won a string of Tasmanian feature races including their own Guineas.
Make no mistake this is a massive rise in class for Admiral but his trainer Barry Campbell will have him in great order and if he brings his best form across the Bass Strait I think he can sneak into the money at double figure odds.
Three fillies will contest the Australian Guineas with Sweet and Speedy ($35) being my pick despite a wide draw.
After last week’s stunning performance I’ll stick with Alpine Eagle to beat Kermadec, Admiral and Sweet and Speedy.
Enjoy the racing and remember we’ll have a full review of all of Saturday’s great racing on Racing Retro, Sunday morning at 9am (AEDT) on Sky Racing.
Grade B - Ballymore Eustace Handicap Hurdle
Grade B - Three.ie H'cap Steeplechase
G1 - Ryanair Nov Chase
G1 - Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle
G1 - Nz Oaks