Goulburn trainer Jean Dubois is confident that 2YO colt Guerrier (Epaulette-Flying Jet, by Jet Spur) can belie his vast inexperience when he contests Saturday's $500,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick. The son of young Darley stallion Epaulette will go into the final leg of Sydney's 2YO Triple Crown as the least experienced runner in the field having won his only start over 1300 metres at Hawkesbury two weeks ago. However, while Dubois acknowledges the quantum leap Guerrier must make from a maiden to a Group 1, he is adamant he possesses the requisite talent to be competitive at the elite level. Guerrier is a stable-mate of the highly promising Aylmerton (Siyouni), recent winner of the Gr2 Todman Stakes, and Dubois believes both possess similar ability. "Guerrier has worked with Aylmerton and was not too far from him. I feel they are the same quality but obviously Aylmerton is more of a sprinter – but he's a good horse Guerrier," the French-born Dubois told Racing NSW. "He is missing a bit of experience for this kind of race but he won easy at Hawkesbury and that's why we are trying for the Group One." Dubois added: "He had a good gallop on Tuesday morning and I feel he will be a strong miler. It is hard to know if a horse is good enough to step up from a maiden to a Group One. It is a bit of a crazy idea but the horse is in such good condition and there are not many mile races around so it's a good time to try."
Co-trainer Peter Snowden is confident that valuable colt Tchaikovsky can make his presence felt in Saturday's $1 million Group 1 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick. Tchaikovsky showed his quality when finishing third behind Aylmerton and EF Troop in the Gr2 Todman Stakes, before breaking his maiden with an impressive win over 1200m at Gosford on 21 March. "He is in the Sires’ and the Kindergarten on Saturday, but we are leaning towards running him in the Sires’," Snowden told ANZ Bloodstock News. "We think he is a very nice horse, though he may just be a preparation away from being there. He is loaded with ability." Snowden added: "It is a bit of an ask running him in a Group One on just his fourth start, but I do think he is a Group One horse...I don’t think the 1400 metres will be a problem." The well named Tchaikovksy, by Redoute's Choice out of the Stravinsky mare Ballet Blue, was a $1.3 million purchase by James Harron at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Arrowfield Stud.
Aylmerton will race in the navy blue colours of Coolmore when he lines up in Saturday's $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) after he was sold to a syndicate headed by the international racing & breeding powerhouse. The Australian-bred Aylmerton became the first Australian stakes winner for high-profile French sire Siyouni (Pivotal) when surging home along the fence to win the Gr2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick two weeks ago in a slick time of 1:08.84. John Camilleri's Fairway Thoroughbreds, Emmaroo Bloodstock, Clairden Racing, Ramsey Pastoral Pty Ltd, Rob & Barbara McClure's Morning Rise Stud, as well as Aylmerton's breeder Woodpark Stud are the other shareholders in the Jean Dubois-trained youngster. "Coolmore has put together a syndicate to take an interest in Aylmerton before the Slipper," said Coolmore's Sebastian Hutch. "He has a very cosmopolitan pedigree. He is very good looking and he is extremely talented and he has won what is traditionally the key lead up to the Slipper in .01 of a second slower than the time Vancouver ran [the Gr2 Todman Stakes]." Hutch continued: "He is doing this all in one preparation essentially and those sort of horses are very exciting. He is the sort of horse who can go on and be a stallion on our roster in due course." Aylmerton is the first foal out of the winning Smart Strike (USA) mare Aloona who was covered by Siyouni to southern hemisphere time. Aloona, herself, is a half-sister to Ireland Gr3 winner Galatee (Galileo), dam of Her Majesty The Queen's Gr2 Yorkshire Cup & Gr2 Hardwicke Stakes winner, and Gr1 Woodbine International placegetter, Dartmouth. This is also the female family of Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic winner & Gr1 Prix d'lspahan winner Arcangues. Siyouni stands at The Aga Khan Studs Haras de Bonneval in Normandy, France at a fee of €75,000.
Racing NSW has released the latest order of entry (as at 12 March 2018) for the 2018 $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) to be run at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, 24 March. Occupying the top spot is the Team Hawkes-trained Estijaab with $273,075 in official prize money. She is also one of five juveniles with ballot exempt status for the race. The others are Sunlight, Santos, Aylmerton & Seabrook. Click here to view the latest order of entry.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, 2YO Australian-bred colt Aylmerton (Siyouni-Aloona, by Smart Strike) became the first Australian stakes winner for high-profile French sire Siyouni (Pivotal) when surging home along the fence to land the $300,000 Gr2 Todman Stakes (1200m) for 2YO colts & geldings, defeating EF Troop & Tchaikovsky. Prepared by French-born trainer Jean Dubois, Aylmerton extended his unbeaten record to 2 wins from 2 starts for $194,670 in earnings. Aylmerton firmed from $101 into $15 for the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday week. "You always dream of things like this but don't believe it can happen. He is a very professional horse and he proved he can fight so he has everything to make a good horse," Dubois told Sky Racing. "He is a very much like his father who is a very good stallion." Aylmerton is the first foal out of the winning Smart Strike (USA) mare Aloona who was covered by Siyouni to southern hemisphere time. Aloona, herself, is a half-sister to Ireland Gr3 winner Galatee (Galileo), dam of Her Majesty The Queen's Gr2 Yorkshire Cup & Gr2 Hardwicke Stakes winner, and Gr1 Woodbine International placegetter, Dartmouth. This is also the female family of Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic winner & Gr1 Prix d'lspahan winner Arcangues. Siyouni stands at The Aga Khan Studs Haras de Bonneval in Normandy, France at a fee of €75,000.