The Australian Guineas meeting at Flemington last Saturday was run under sunny skies, so it was more pleasurable than my last outing to the big track.
The expected showdown between Alligator Blood and Catalyst in the feature race didn’t eventuate, but the tough Queensland gelding, niggled most of the way by rank outsider Commodus, won his first Group 1 race comfortably by 1¼ lengths from the fast finishing West Australian gelding Superstorm and Soul Patch. Catalyst failed to fire and finished sixth.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I arrived at Flemington shortly after 1.00pm where Race 2, the Roy Higgins Quality was in progress. It was won by King of Leogrance from Dabiyr and Naval Warfare.
As there was plenty of time on hand I headed for the stalls area to see who had arrived on course. The Guineas contenders were there and the first I came across was none other than Alligator Blood.
Back trackside Race 3, the Listed Very Special Kids Plate was next up. Run over 1000 metres it was a race for two year olds and was won quite impressively by Ilovemyself from River Night and Time Is Precious.
Warm favourite Sylvia’s Mother won race 4, the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes from Mamzelle Tess and Fidelia.
Most of the races preceding the Guineas were not terribly interesting, but good for photography practice.
Another Group 3 , race 5 was the Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap and was won by Blazejowski a grey son of Dash For Cash who coincidently won the 2002 Australian Guineas. Morvada finished second and starting favourite Age of Chivalry third.
The highly touted Western Australian mare Fabergino, having her first start in the East, led from the start to the finish to easily win Race 6, the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap, a sprint over 1000 metres down the long Flemington straight.
She won by over a length from Embrace Me and Haunted.
As the Australian Guineas was next to jump we headed to the mounting yard for the pre-race parade and watched the running of the Surround Stakes in Sydney on the big screen. New Zealand filly Probabeel stole the prize from Funstar with Xilong running third. Fellow New Zealander and stablemate Te Akau Shark took out the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes later in the afternoon.
Meanwhile back at Flemington the small Guineas field was parading in the mounting yard.
I’ve described the 2020 Australian Guineas above, and was delighted that Alligator Blood was victorious and glad that I managed to get some good photos of him in action.
Alligator Blood’s next race is the All Star Mile at Caulfield on March 14. I do hope his connections don’t burn him out with over racing. I would not be disappointed if he doesn’t run in the ASM. He has after all run and won five races since early December 2019 with hardly a break between.
Next weekend is Super Saturday at Flemington again, featuring the Group 1 Australian Cup and Newmarket Handicap.
As I’ve been writing this post a big truck has been digging a hole in the footpath and making a hell of a racket – very distracting!