Group 1 racing appears in both Victoria and New South Wales on Saturday with the running of Australian Guineas Day at Flemington and Chipping Norton Stakes Day at Randwick.
At Flemington the G1 Kennedy Australian Guineas is the clear highlight of the day with a near capacity field likely to be assembled for the 1600m feature for three-year-olds. New Zealand star Brando won't be running as he has been flown back to his home country after a disappointing performance in the C.S. Hayes Stakes.
AUSTRALIAN GUINEAS 1600m G1- Likely Field
POLAND (Mike Moroney) Craig Williams
ZOU DANCER (Leon &Troy Corstens) Jamie Kah
CHERRY TORTONI (Patrick Payne) Billy Egan
TAGALOA (Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young) Luke Currie
AYSAR (Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig) Damian Lane
CROSSHAVEN (Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig) Daniel Stackhouse
CAMBOURNE (Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr) Mark Zahra
IRONEDGE (Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr) Michael Walker
DOM TO SHOOT (Sean & Jake Casey) Willie Pike
BELTORO (Rob Hickmott) Jack Hill
LOFTY STAR (Julius Sandhu) Beau Mertens
LUNAR FOX (Paul Preusker)
AMISH BOY (Ciaron Maher & David Eustace)
GRANDSLAM (Ciaron Maher & David Eustace)
The other key race at Flemington is the 1600m G2 Blamey Stakes which provides the winner with a free ticket into the All-Star Mile. It has attracted a deep field including Fifty Stars who is looking to win the race for the third year running.
BLAMEY STAKES 1600m G2- Likely Field
FIFTY STARS (Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig) John Allen
MYSTIC JOURNEY (Adam Trinder) Luke Currie
BUFFALO RIVER (Mike Moroney) Jamie Kah
BEST OF DAYS (James Cummings) Damien Oliver
IRISH FLAME (Brett Scott) Michael Walker
STAR OF THE SEAS (Chris Waller) Damian Lane
MIRAGE DANCER (Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young)
DABIYR (Chris Waller) Damien Thornton
MAHAMEDEIS (Nick Ryan)
VASSILATOR (Colin Little)
Multiple Group 1 winners Hey Doc and Shout The Bar will also return to the races in other events on the day. Hey Doc will run in the LR ATA/Bob Hoysted Handicap with Luke Currie aboard up against three-year-old filly All Banter, whilst Shout The Bar is to race in the G3 Frances Tressady at 1400m for mares under Damien Oliver. The other big name running on the day is The Harrovian, the Queensland cult hero who is starting his Victorian campaign in the G3 Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap with his regular rider Brad Stewart making the trip down to ride.
At Randwick there are two Group 1 races starting with the Weight-For-Age Chipping Norton Stakes which features Verry Elleegant, the established star up against the new-comer Collette.
CHIPPING NORTON STAKES 1600m G1- Likely Field
VERRY ELLEEGANT (Chris Waller) James McDonald
KOLDING (Chris Waller) Hugh Bowman
AVILIUS (James Cummings) Nash Rawiller
COLLETTE (James Cummings) Rachel King
TOFFEE TONGUE (Chris Waller) Brenton Avdulla
MASTER OF WINE (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes) Tommy Berry
FUNSTAR (Chris Waller) Glen Boss
The 3YO fillies have their first Group 1 of the new year with the running of the Surround Stakes at 1400m. This year's edition is certainly shaping as a wide-open contest.
SURROUND STAKES G1 1400m 3yo Fillies- Likely Field
DAME GISELLE (Peter & Paul Snowden) Tommy Berry
MONTEFILLIA (David Payne) Hugh Bowman
NEVER TALK (Kris Lees) Jason Collett
FORBIDDEN LOVE (Richard & Michael Freedman) Nash Rawiller
HUNGRY HEART (Chris Waller) James McDonald
JOVIALTY (Chris Waller) Brenton Avdulla
LA MEXICANA (Sam & Anthony Freedman) Tom Marquand
VANGELIC (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott) Tim Clark
MIRAVALLE (Mark Newnham) Josh Parr
One of the other key races on the day is the Sweet Embrace Stakes for the 2YO Fillies. Some leading Golden Slipper fancies are set to run here in Mallory and Four Moves Ahead, they will also be joined by Hi Hi Hi, Nice For What, Robodira, Northundra, Tillianam.
The Magic Millions-winner Shaquero is likely to return to the track in the Skyline Stakes with Hugh Bowman aboard and boom-horse Masked Crusader could appear in the Liverpool City Cup with Tommy Berry booked to ride if the Southern Cross stakes-winner does appear.
NB: All fields listed are indicative only and subject to change.