The 2015 Australian Guineas field has been released and a capacity field of 16 horses are set to contest the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Chris Waller-trained Kermadec was included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), but he has been scratched from the Royal Randwick Guineas and will make the trip to Melbourne for the Australian Guineas.
Kermadec (barrier eight) stamped himself as a horse to follow when he won the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day last year and he has had an ideal preparation for the Australian Guineas after finishing fourth in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 7 and a fast-finishing third in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
The CS Hayes is often the key lead-up race to the Australian Guineas this year’s winner Wandjina will have the chance to join Zabeel, Mahogany, Mouawad and Dash For Cash as winners of both races.
Wandjina did not record a win during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he finished a strong third behind Shooting To Win and Rich Enuff in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) before he was not disgraced when tenth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
The Snitzel colt returned to winning form with a tough victory in the CS Hayes Stakes and he will likely press forward in the early stages of the race after being allocated barrier ten.
Stratum Star (barrier four), Merion (barrier 12), Chivalry (barrier 11), Testashadow (barrier 16) and Lucky Liberty (barrier 15) are also set to back-up from the CS Hayes Stakes, but Wez Hunter-trained Disposition has not been included in the 2015 Australian Guineas field due to an injury suffered at trackwork this morning.
Another horse that will be taking winning form into the Australian Guineas is South Australian representative Alpine Eagle, who will be ridden by Hong Kong-based hoop Douglas Whyte in the Group 1 event.
Alpine Eagle (barrier seven) stamped himself as a horse to watch with two impressive wins in Adelaide and he earnt himself a place in the Australian Guineas when he savaged the line to win the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Minnesinger (barrier 3) and Firehouse Rock (barrier 13) finished in the placings behind Alpine Eagle in the Autumn Classic and both will back-up in the Australian Guineas this weekend.
The 2015 edition of the Australian Guineas is truly a national race and horses from Western Australia and Tasmania will join gallopers from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia in the $500,000 race.
Rommel (barrier six) beat the highly fancied Disposition to win the 2014 edition of the Group 2 Western Australian Guineas (1600m) in November last year and made his Melbourne racing debut with a strong win ion the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last weekend.
Regular jockey Steve Parnham has replaced his brother Chris on the Commands colt and has the opportunity to record his first Group 1 victory outside of Western Australia in the Australian Guineas.
Admiral (barrier five) has been the leading horse of his generation in Tasmania since he made his racing debut with a win in 2013 and he has the chance to take on some of the best three-year-olds in Australia in the Australian Guineas after taking out the Listed Tasmanian Guineas (1600m) and Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) in Tasmania this preparation.
The Mossman gelding finished over the top of Group 1 placegetter The Cleaner to take out the George Adams Plate and can stamp himself as one of the best horses produced in Tasmania if he wins the Australian Guineas.
Fillies have won two of the past four editions of the Australian Guineas and both Fontein Ruby and Sweet And Speedy have the opportunity to improve that record on Saturday.
Fontein Ruby (barrier two) has returned to racing with tough performances in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m), while Sweet And Speedy (barrier 14) held off Set Square to win the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
The 2015 Australian Guineas field is rounded out by Petrology (barrier one), Rod’s Opinion (barrier 17) and emergency Manapine (barrier nine).