Group 2 Australian Guineas Showcases WA Three-Year-Olds
It feels inappropriate to mention the Group 1 Railway Stakes, yet completely ignore the Group 2 Western Australian Guineas, so here is some information that about the other important race going off at the same Ascot meeting Saturday.
The WA Guineas (1600 m), started in 1937, is run by three-year-olds of both gender under set weights, with the customary 2 kg advantage going to fillies.
As we discovered with the Railway Stakes, the Guineas is dominated by local horses, with the occasional interstate raider comes in following spring action at the Melbourne carnival.
One other thing that bears mention is that we found more than a few Western Australia horses placing well in the Guineas, and then develop further to win or place well in the Railway.
The Guineas is race seven on the day and is followed immediately by the Railway. The Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes used to be run alongside the other two, but it now follows by a week, spreading out the Perth carnival and serving as a perfect segue to the Kingston Town Classic, December 9, this year.
Variation was the winning horse in 2016. Damian Lane took the ride, with the pair beating Ellicazoom, Ragazzo D’Oro and 13 others for the $302,000 top prize. Variation has been strong since, winning at Ascot and Belmont and finishing strong on multiple occasions.
Money Maher heads the betting list at the moment, jumping from 11 at $4.20. Sophia’s Secret is shortening to $4.60, coming out of 12, so the middle of the track looks like the place to be, although the speed may come from closer to the rail. Art Series is $8.50 out of 9. Arcadia Prince is the other in single digits, $9 coming out of 13 with Damien Oliver doing the steering.
The field of 16 three-year-olds for this year looks filled with quality, making the Western Australian Guineas worth a look.