VIDEO: Simon Marshall – Randwick and Australian Guineas

Saturday will see the clash of two big Group 1 1600m 3yo races, one at Flemington in Melbourne (Australian Guineas) and the other in Sydney at Randwick (Randwick Guineas). To me – and many other racing pundits – this is crazy programming by both racing authorities and shows the disconnect that exists, but that’s a conversation for another day.

The Australian Guineas sees the return of the Victorian Derby winner Prized Icon and the Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Profit. The pair takes on an even bunch of largely colts and geldings with only three fillies in this year’s field.

Despite the presence of the abovementioned Group One winners, I think the one to beat is the favourite #4 Hey Doc. Drawn in barrier two, he won the traditional lead-up over 1400m at Flemington last start and should be aided by a cushy run just off the speed under the guidance of Luke Currie.

The Lindsay Park team, led by David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, will have four runners in the field and the key runner for me will be their colt #3 Seaburge who is second-up and coming off a cracking spring campaign. In that preparation he ran second at Group One level in the Mackinnon Stakes over 2000m against the older horses and was narrowly edged out by #2 Divine Profit in the Caulfield Guineas.

At Randwick all the attention will be on the two Group One races.

Let’s firstly look at the Randwick Guineas. With the possibility of #1Prized Icon running at Flemington due to the Heavy track, in my opinion it is #2 Man from Uncle’s race to lose. He comes into this race after winning the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes and last start saluting in the traditional lead-up, the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes, where he beat five of his competitors in this race.

I am expecting #9 Malaise with champion jockey Zac Purton aboard to be very competitive in the wet conditions after finishing second to the Australian Guineas favourite Hey Doc last start and I think #3 Inference will also be competitive. He ran a slashing race in last year’s Victoria Derby and the 1600m will suit a lot better than the 1400m exercise first-up when he ran fifth to Man from Uncle.

The final race for analysis is the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes to be run over 1300m. The race hosts champion sprinter Chautauqua who is switching from Melbourne to Sydney to take on four other Group One winners. It’s interesting to note that four out of the five Group 1 winners have won on a heavy track (Ugo Foscolo, Music Magnate, Hauraki and Le Romain). I’m sticking with the champion Chautauqua, however, who is proven in soft going and whose run last start was a lot better than it looked to the naked eye. I believe his best wins have been the right-handed way (in last year’s TJ Smith Stakes and also his Group 1 victory in Hong Kong) and I’ll back him to bounce back here.

Now to the all-important SuperPicks for this weekend.

My first is Seaburge at Flemington – Profit Plus 50% the win

The second is Chautauqua. I think that Profit Plus 50% the win will provide great value.

Good luck and, please, gamble responsibly.