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Guineas Chance For Brandenburg To Confirm Class

By Ray Hickson

Trainer John Sargent is keen for Brandenburg to prove his upset win in the Hobartville Stakes wasn’t just an upset but a true indication of his ability when he chases Group 1 success at Randwick on Saturday.

Trainer John Sargent.

Brandenburg started $41 in the Hobartville, where he beat 10 of his 12 rivals in the Group 1 $1m Mostyn Copper Randwick Guineas (1600m), and that win afforded him a bit more respect at $8.50 with TAB.

“It’d be good for him to show it wasn’t a one off because it was an on pace race that day,’’ Sargent said.

“I do think he is better chasing at a horse because he got out the front and got a bit lost but he will learn from that.’’

Sargent said Brandenburg came through that first-up win in fine style and had his major gallop under jockey Rachel King on Tuesday morning with some three-quarter work on Thursday.

Given his comments about the colt being a better chaser, Sargent is keen to see him get some cover but with a wide barrier again it wouldn’t shock if similar tactics where employed. Especially with Microphone, who led the Hobartville, also drawn out.

“It’s a help with Super Seth out of it, he’ll roll over from that draw and just slot in somewhere,’’ Sargent said.

“I think the mile will suit him, he ran a strong mile in the Carbine club, and a wet track doesn’t worry him. He’ll go in there a good fit horse and ready to have a go.’’

The Randwick Guineas will be a crossroad for Brandenburg, Sargent said depending on the result he could step up in distance to the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in two weeks or, particularly if he wins again, stay at the mile and be aimed at the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster.

Godolphin trainer James Cummings has no doubt Microphone will run out a strong mile in the Guineas though was tempted by shorter races.

Last year’s Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) winner held on to run third in the Hobartville after leading.

“He’s got such a strength about him now that we’re content that this is the way to go,’’ Cummings said.

“For a colt to be a champion two-year-old one year and then to be pushed along for an autumn Guineas would be extremely satisfying.

“I feel he might be a bit more focused for this race and I’ve got great confidence in him being competitive against these colts. We’re looking forward to watching him rise to the challenge.”

Brandenburg wins the Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill on February 22

Meanwhile, speaking of challenges, John Sargent won’t hesitate in chasing a Group 1 with lightly raced filly Emeralds if she can get her campaign back on track in the Group 3 Sharp Sensitive IT Aspiration Quality (1600m).

Emeralds hit the line strongly to run fifth in the Light Fingers Stakes (1200m), running 34.61 for her last 600m (Punter's Intelligence), when resuming but she was scratched from the Group 1 Surround Stakes last weekend with a bruised heel.

Sargent has eyes on the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and expects her to measure up to the older mares despite having to alter her campaign.

“If she runs well she will go to the Vinery, we were going to go last week and then another run (Kembla Classic) but it’s not too bad,’’ he said.

“There’s no reason she shouldn’t be competitive, she jarred up in the Thousand Guineas at a mile and she’s better than that and hopefully she will, show that on Saturday.’’

Emeralds was $4 equal favourite with TAB, alongside ex-Kiwi mare Danzdanzdance who Sargent says he has a heap of respect for, on Friday.

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Randwick Guineas meeting

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