A lucrative Sydney campaign will be given the go ahead by trainer Mick Kentif his three year old Philippi performs up to expectation in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington tomorrow.
The Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 30 and the Group 1 $1.5m ATC Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 13 during the Sydney Autumn Carnival have been earmarked for Philippi who is unbeaten from three starts.
Philippi with Craig Williams aboard will be having his first run since winning the Listed $120,000 UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 6 last Spring.
The three year old made a quick rise to stakes success after winning on debut over 1532m at Mornington followed by a win over 1500m at Moonee Valley.
While Kent doesn’t anticipate Philippi to be at his best over the 1400m, he expects the colt to race well at Flemington with the longer races over the Autumn the ones that have been targeted.
“I’m happy with the horse but it should be too short for him,” Kent said.
“It’s the only option for us to start with and the ten furlongs is where he needs to be.”
“It’s just a starting point, he started at 1523m in his first preparation in a maiden and he got them late and at Moonee Valley he got them late too.”
“He improved with each run, he’s a laid back sort of horse and it is going to be the same this time.”
“He has come back really well and as long as he hits the line well I will be happy but when he gets up to Sydney that is where he will come into his own.”
A start in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 2 is still up in the air and a decision to run will weigh heavily on whether Team Hawkes choose to run their stable star All Too Hard against the three year olds.
“The guineas is an unusual race and we will see how it plays out because if you take the good horse out it opens up a little bit,” Kent said.
Kent will get a good guide for the Autumn with Philippi coming up against some smart three year olds in the C S Hayes Stakes.
The Peter Moody trained Royal Haunt gave nothing else a chance winning by over four lengths in beating tomorrow’s opponents Force Command and Hosting.
And the Peter Snowden stable is expecting a better showing from their Group 1 placed Albrecht who struggled into sixth place behind Royal Haunt at Caulfield while Bart Cummings will be saddling up Lunar Rise who was a Group 3 winner and a Group 2 placegetter in the Spring.
Royal Haunt has been installed the $2.30 favourite for the C S Hayes Stakes ahead of Albrecht at $5 with Philippi on the third line of betting at $6.
The Greg Eurell trained Hosting is at $9.50 and Cummings’ three year old Lunar Rise is a $10 chance.