Form analyst Daniel O’Sullivan has Volkstok’N’Barrell on top of his 2015 Rosehill Guineas tips and he believes that the Kiwi galloper is well-placed in the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Volkstok’N’Barrell started his summer preparation with three straight wins, but suffered just his second race defeat in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie on February 14 and was outstayed by Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at the same venue on February 28.
Mongolian Khan had the measure of Volkstok’N’Barrell in both the Avondale Guineas and the Rosehill Guineas, but O’Sullivan told RSN that the Lord Tavistock gelding had plenty of excuses in both those races and can turn-the-tables on his rival in the Rosehill Guineas.
“I really like Volkstok’N’Barrell,” O’Sullivan said.
“He comes into this race with a very similar profile to a horse like Jimmy Choux, he strung together a stack of impressive wins in lead-up races and in his last two he has been beaten by Mongolian Khan, but there have been genuine excuses.
“Last start in the New Zealand Derby he sprinted straight past Mongolian Khan and looked to have a little margin on him, but when they balanced up on the straight Mongolian Khan just ended up outstaying him in what was a fast New Zealand Derby.
“Prior in the 2100 metres Avondale Guineas, Volkstok’N’Barrell jumped from a wide barrier, missed the start and ended up right back at the tail of the field.
“Mongolian Khan came home in 34.65 for the last 600, which is one of the quicker sectionals you will see at that track and distance and Volkstok’N’Barrell when he went he showed an enormous sustained sprint and he made up between nine and ten lengths on Mongolian Khan and finished just under two lengths behind.
“It was an absolutely enormous run and I think he is the 2000 metre horse out of the two and Mongolian Khan is more the stayer.
“I think from barrier two Volkstok’N’Barrell is just going to lob into the box seat, sit outside Hampton Court and they are just going to go evenly until the 800 when Hampton Court might up the pressure.
“I would not be surprised if he sprints way from this field and I am actually quite keen on him at the price.”
Hallowed Crown and Sweynesse are currently locked in a battle for favouritism in Rosehill Guineas betting markets, but O’Sullivan revealed that he is happy to leave the Royal Randwick Guineas quinella out of his Rosehill Guineas selections.
O’Sullivan said that the times produced by Hallowed Crown in both the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) were both far from impressive and he believes there is plenty of evidence to suggest that form line is not as strong as it has been perceived.
“The Sydney horses I am not too sure what to make of them,” O’Sullivan said.
“In the Hobartville and the Randwick Guineas they were both very competitive races and they all finished close together, but in both of those runs those three-year-olds just haven’t done anything on the clock yet.
“I am looking at every possible angle to see something to show that these runners are showing something like Group 1 form and it is just not there.
“Logic tells us that they are top class runners, but when the score is not on the board so far this preparation I just have to have a little bit of a query over them from a betting perspective.
“I am happy to take them on.”
Sweynesse is currently available at 2015 Royal Randwick Guineas odds of $2.70 with Ladbrokes and is a narrow favourite from Hallowed Crown ($2.90), Mongolian Khan ($5.50) and Volkstok’N’Barrell ($5.50).