Undoubtedly the most talented field on an impressive Rosehill Gardens race card this Saturday, the featured 2014 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) will feature 17 talented runners including several previous winners at the top level of Australian Racing.
Completing an impressive and rare Cox Plate/Australia Guineas seasonal double on March 1st, Shamus Award was arguably the biggest winner at Wednesday’s Rosehill Guineas barrier draw, having been allocated the ideal inside gate for this weekend’s feature race.
Shamus Award steadily built to the task at hand over an impressive 2013 spring preparation, finishing second in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) and third to Long John and Divine Calling in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) before securing a huge upset victory over Happy Trails and Fiorente in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040) on October 26th.
Claiming outright favouritism for the Group 1 C.F Orr Stakes (1400m) first-up this preparation and finishing a competitive third, Shamus Award more than solidified a rich career as a stud when leading from start to finish and claiming the Australian Guineas (1600m).
With a long view towards a defence of the Cox Plate on October, trainer Danny O’Brien has underlined the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) as the major target for the exciting Snitzel colt this preparation, and is confident of securing winning form this weekend.
Yet to contest a race on Australian shores, talented New Zealand-based stayer Puccini has been confirmed for his maiden appearance across the ditch in this weekend’s Rosehill Guineas.
Arguably one of New Zealand’s best current race horses, Puccini (barrier 2) has hit incredible form over a long preparation which started with a competitive third in the Darci Brahma Maiden (1300m) on August 19th.
Currently amidst a three race winning streak, Puccini was untroubled in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) and Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m), but was easily most impressive when strolling home to claim the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) by more than two lengths last time out.
Having outlined the major Group 1 Australian Derby as the ultimate goal of his Australian tenure, trainer Peter McKay is confident his horse will last the distance this weekend, and revealed he will not be happy with any results outside the places.
Also carrying winning form at Group 1 level into the Rosehill Guineas, Dissident will be partnered by veteran jockey Jim Cassidy this weekend, and will leave from the strong barrier 7.
Having returned to the track in scintillating form in 2014, Dissident produced a strong run for second in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) first-up on February 15th before comfortably claiming the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) ahead of classy competition on March 1st.
Settling on the heels of leader El Roca in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) only two weeks ago, the exciting Sebring colt took the lead in the early stages of the main straight, withstanding pressure over the final 250 metres to claim a narrow victory.
Trainer Anthony Cummings will be offered twice the chance of Rosehill Guineas success this weekend, having accepted positions in the final field for Surge Ahead and Thunder Fantasy.
While yet to reach peak form in 2014, Surge Ahead has claimed an impressive three wins and one place in only seven race starts to date, and will have to overcome the slightly wide barrier 10 if any chance of claiming a maiden Group 1 title this weekend.
Thunder Fantasy (barrier 6) experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence over the spring of 2013, claiming his first two race starts with ease and building towards a competitive third in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) on November 2nd.
Returning to the track to stroll home by nearly two lengths in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) on February 8th, the talented Lucky Owners colt produced a strong turn of foot to finish third in the Australian Guineas, before being blocked for a run in the final straight of the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) most recently.
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2014 Rosehill Guineas Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x27231x316||SHAMUS AWARD||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||1||56.5kg||113|
|2||x22264x211||DISSIDENT||Peter G Moody||Jim Cassidy||7||56.5kg||107|
|3||x00224x428||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||Hugh Bowman||14||56.5kg||99|
|4||3351414111||PUCCINI (NZ)||Peter & Jacob McKay||Michael Walker||2||56.5kg||105|
|5||x312310x37||SAVVY NATURE (NZ)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||12||56.5kg||96|
|6||x11593x138||THUNDER FANTASY||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||6||56.5kg||99|
|7||30111×26||ATLANTE||Murray Baker||Glyn Schofield||9||56.5kg||99|
|8||1151×763||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||10||56.5kg||78|
|9||x4125x3554||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Craig Newitt||3||56.5kg||85|
|10||8x4444x585||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||8||56.5kg||83|
|11||1136×17||ORDER OF THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||5||56.5kg||73|
|12||11659×395||LATE CHARGE||Wendy Kelly||Christian Reith||11||56.5kg||73|
|13||2x21925x30||TUPAC AMARU||Peter Snowden||–||15||56.5kg||70|
|14||2419×12||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||16||56.5kg||75|
|15||3121×0||SHOW THE WORLD (NZ)||Murray Baker||Nash Rawiller||17||56.5kg||76|
|16||836×014131||MR ONE ELEVEN||John Sargent||Jay Ford||4||56.5kg||69|
|17||9×14||EYRE SQUARE||Diane Poidevin-Laine||–||13||56.5kg||63|