Murray Baker’s chances of becoming the first trainer to win the Royal Randwick Guineas in back-to-back years since John Hawkes in 2004 were enhanced this morning, after Atlante and Show The World both received good barriers for the Group 1 event that will be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Atlante is considered Baker’s best chance of winning his second Royal Randwick Guineas, after taking out the last year’s race with It’s A Dundeel, and the leading New Zealand trainer was thrilled to draw barrier five for the son of Fastnet Rock.
The talented colt made his Australian racing debut with a second place finish behind Dissident in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 1, despite failing to handle the slow track, and Baker told TVN that he believes the New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner is an excellent chance in the Royal Randwick Guineas, especially if the track remains dry.
“Everyone has their turn, but I’m happy with where he’s drawn, but he does need a firm track to show his best,” Baker said.
“He ran well the other day on a slow track, but he’s so much better on top of the ground.”
The Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 is the major 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goal for Show The World, but the High Chaparral gelding will make his racing debut in the Royal Randwick Guineas this weekend.
Show The World will jump from barrier seven with leading Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller on board and is chasing his second straight victory after working home strongly to win the Group 2 The Sound Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.
Fellow Kiwi El Roca is considered one of the leading winning chances in the 2014 Royal Randwick Guineas, but will need plenty of luck after drawing barrier 14.
The Fastnet Rock colt returned to racing with a strong second in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm last weekend, after he was scratched from the Hobartville Stakes a week earlier in controversial fashion.
Atlante has the opportunity to become the first horse in history to complete the New Zealand 2000 Guineas and the Royal Randwick Guineas double.