Admiral’s convincing win over the popular The Cleaner at Launceston last week was enough to tempt trainer Barry Campbell to give the three year old his chance in the top grade and head to Flemington for Saturday‘s Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Admiral scored the ninth win of his career when he ran down front runner The Cleaner to win the Listed $100,000 George Adams Plate (1600m) on February 25.
The Cleaner, arguably Tasmania’s most popular and best performed race horse, gathered legions of fans during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a string of impressive front running displays that earned him a start in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
The Mick Burles trained seven year old dictated from the front again in the Cox Plate but found the opposition too strong and battled on gamely to finish three lengths ninth to Irish galloper Adelaide.
“He beat The Cleaner fair and square and he deserves his chance against the big timers on the mainland,” Campbell told the Herald Sun.
“It is a big step up but if nothing else he will grow up with the experience of the trip across the waters. He’ll be going to the paddock after that, win, lose or draw.”
“I’m pretty sure he will measure up. He’s earned his spot.”
Admiral has an impeccable record of nine wins, two seconds and a third from twelve starts with local jockey Brendon McCoull in the saddle for all his outings.
“He’s won nine of 12 and really it should have been 11 wins. Actually his last race when he beat The Cleaner was probably his easiest run. He’s pulled up enormous and I think the 1600m of the Guineas will be ideal,” Campbell said.
Top Melbourne rider Dwayne Dunn has been given the nod to partner Admiral in the Australian Guineas and the Mossman gelding should get a dream run from barrier five.
If Admiral can win the Australian Guineas Campbell will then rate him as the equal to his other top three year old Alfa.
Campbell was in charge of Alfa in the early part of his career in the mid 1990s and collected six wins from seven starts before being transferred to Bart Cummings who was able to win the 1996 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield with the former top Tassie galloper.
“I always knew Alfa was going to be a star and he proved it,” Campbell said.
“Admiral is a long way behind him because at this stage Alfa had gone on to win a Caulfield Guineas. But if Admiral can win the Australian Guineas I reckon he will rate right up there with Alfa.”
Admiral has been listed as a $17 chance for the Australian Guineas with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Chris Waller trained Kermadec as the $3.50 favourite.
Last Saturday’s Caulfield Autumn Classic winner Alpine Eagle is on the second line of betting at $6.50 ahead of Gai Waterhouse’s Wandjina at $8.50, Stratum Star at $9, Petrology at $11 and West Australian trained three year old Rommel at $12.