Montaigne set to relish the Rosehill Guineas trip

Mar 18, 2016

The second leg of the three-year-old Autumn Triple Crown, the $600,000 Group 1 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m), trainer Anthony Cummings has always felt Montaigne (NZ) would appreciate the step up the middle distance trip.

The equally most inexperienced runner in the field having only had five starts, the Randwick-trained Montaigne was a last start fifth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m), beaten two and a half lengths by fellow Rosehill Guineas runner Le Romain.

Finding trouble getting into clear running, the gelding powered home late to highlight himself as the 'one to watch' next time out.

Still in his first preparation, having been up since his first start in January, Montaigne has form around star three-year-old Press Statement (Hinchinbrook) who will contest the race prior on the day, the $1,000,000 Group 1 China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes (1500m).

From the first crop of Encosta de Lago’s son Road To Rock who Cummings trained to victory in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) as well as a stunning two length win over Triple Honour in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), there should be no reason to doubt Montaigne at the distance of Saturday’s race.

“We’ve been working for the past couple of runs to get him up to the 2000m of The Rosehill Guineas,” said Cummings.

“I really think he is going to show himself off on Saturday at the trip.”

Having proven himself on all track surfaces, Cummings felt that while drawn barrier three in the field of 14,if the inside of the track is off, then the field will begin to track wide into the straight and Shinn will need to get him into clear running to make his move.

“Currently rain affected, the weather should improve the track and with form on all surfaces, he will be right,” felt Cummings.

“While Blake hasn’t ridden him on race day yet, he’s been on his back in work and been really impressed.”

With four individual Group 1 winners set to contest the race including both the VRC Derby winner [Tarzino] and VRC Oaks winner [Jameka], Cummings suggested that with the form these elite level winners bring to the race, they are the ones to watch.

“The Derby winner Tarzino as well as Le Romain [Randwick Guineas winner] should prove the hardest to beat. They’ve got the form on the board at Group 1 level and I hope we’re the next.”

Set to sport new silks in the Rosehill Guineas after Rosemont Stud purchased a share in Derby winner Tarzino, connections could be looking for back to back wins in the race after the red and white gatecrasher silks were carried to victory last year when Volkstok’n’barrell defeated Preferment in what has worked out to be an excellent form race.

Second last start in the Group 1 Australian Guineas, Tarzino (Tavistock) will start the $2.40 favourite after being supported from an earlier quote of $2.80, with VRC Oaks winner Jameka (Myboycharlie), the lone filly in the race who finished fifth in the Australian Guineas currently at a quote of $6.50.

Randwick Guineas winner Le Romain (Hard Spun) who has firmed from $8.00 into $7.00 has obviously impressed training Kris Lees leading into Saturday’s race as the Newcastle-based trainer indicated after his Guineas win that he felt the best distance for the gelding was 1400m to 1600m.

Last spring’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) winner Vanbrugh ($9.00) is set to improve back to his optimum distance, but will need to based on his two slightly disappointing efforts from spell including sixth in the Australian Guineas last start.

Last winning the race in 2012 with Laser Hawk (Artie Schiller), the half-brother to multiple Group 1 winner Desert War, trainer Gai Waterhouse will saddle up River Wild (Fastnet Rock)who worked home very well in the Australian Guineas for fourth, a length and half from the winner .

Currently at a quote of $10.00, the half-brother to Group 1 winner Aqua d’Amore, River Wild looks like he is really going to appreciate the trip as is last start Randwick Guineas third placegetter Gold Ambition (Savabeel) who sits a t a price of $12.00 in pre-race betting.

With many set to head to the $2 million Group 1 Randwick Derby (2400m) on April 2, where Tarzino is the current $2.90 favourite ahead of Montaigne at $8.00, Cummings indicated that the horse will really need to come through Saturday’s run in good order to press on.

“Not 100% sure they we will head to the Derby at this stage. He’s had a long prep, but we’ll be guided with the way he comes through the run.”

Copy: ThoroughbredNews, Images: Sportpix

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