Godolphin head trainer James Cummings is hoping the team’s progressive colt Beau Geste can go out a winner with a victory at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday in the Group 2 $250,000 Ladbrokes Sandown Guineas (1600m).
A son of Street Cry, Beau Geste is fighting for favouritism in the markets at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au for the Sandown Guineas with the Darren Weir-trained Snitzepeg.
The duo are both graduates out of the Group 3 $200,000 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on VRC Derby Day a fortnight back.
Beau Geste just held Snitzepeg’s measure on the line when the two backmarkers made up plenty of late ground, flashing home to finish fourth and fifth respectively under a length off Levendi in the mile showdown.
Cummings was impressed with the late turn-of-foot from Beau Geste in the Carbine Club Stakes, where the horse was held up from the 600m to the 200m, and hopes the decision to give the youngster one last spring run pays off with a breakthrough black-type win.
“I thought he closed off well in the Carbine Club. It was a run that told us he was entitled to his chance,” Cummings told Racenet.
“He’s come a long way this prep and he goes to Sandown on Saturday with the right lead up to this race.
“He’ll go for a spell after this and it would be a big thrill to see him go out a winner.”
Beau Geste has had six career starts for two wins and two thirds.
His latest turf triumph was a Benchmark 74 over 1300m at Rosehill back on September 23, after which he finished a credible third to Viridine in Randwick’s Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m).
An unplaced run when two and a half-lengths off Snitzepeg followed on Caulfield Cup Day in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) before Beau Geste turned the tables on Derby Day.
The Carbine Club Stakes has produced seven of the past 10 Sandown Guineas winners, all of which ran first four in the key lead-up, which bodes well for Beau Geste this weekend.
Jockey Damian Lane retains the ride in the Group 2, while Dean Yendall jumps back aboard Snitzepeg for the first time since guiding the Snitzel colt to victory in the Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 7.
A win in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield followed before Snitzepeg’s brave Carbine Club Stakes run where little separated he and Beau Geste.
Top five in Sandown Guineas betting at Ladbrokes.com.au: Beau Geste ($4.40), Snitzepeg ($4.50), Villermont ($6.50), Black Sail ($8.50), Octabello ($9.50).