Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
“I have been over the moon with his past two runs, and I expect him to run a bold race out in front in the Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night,” said Al Guerrero’s part-owner and trainer Kyle Anderson.
The $50,000 Retravision Binshaw Classic, a 2130m group 2 feature event, gives an ideal opportunity for four-year-old Al Guerrero to break through for his first success in a group race, after his first nine appearances in those type of events have produced two third placings.
Al Guerrero is an accomplished frontrunner, and he should appreciate a drop in class after clashing with quality open-class pacers Vampiro, Patronus Star and Perfect Major in the 2536m August Cup last Friday night. He trailed the pacemaker Vampiro and fought on solidly when third to that pacer and Patronus Star.
“It was a fair step up in class in the August Cup, taking on the Free-For-Allers,” said Anderson. “At the end of the run he was actually grabbing ground off Vampiro, and that’s a credit to the little horse. At the 600m I thought he was in a bit of trouble, but he kept whacking away.”
A week earlier Al Guerrero started from the outside of the back line and impressed when he was seventh (on the pegs) at the bell before sprinting home fast to finish a close second to See Ya Write over 2130m.
“Even though he is coming back down in class, it’s a pretty strong line-up this week,” said Anderson. “We’ll probably take advantage of the barrier and try to lead all the way.
“When he has led, he has had the measure of the majority of horses he will meet this week. See Ya Write beat him two starts ago, but we were taking good ground off him at the end and were beaten only a lip. Without being too confident, I expect him to run a bold race out in front.”
Al Guerrero will again have the services of his regular reinsman Kyle Harper, who said: “I think he will benefit from last week’s run. I felt he held his own, stepping up to that grade for the first time against that calibre of horse.”
See Ya Write, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is sure to have many admirers in his bid to extend his winning sequence to four. He is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven but has the ability to overcome that disadvantage.
All runners in the field have been racing in fine form, with last-start winners Alta Engen, Alta Intrigue, Miss Limelight and Medieval Man all having solid each-way claims.
Alta Engen, an up-and-coming four-year-old who has won at 11 of his 19 starts for trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo, is a brilliant frontrunner who set the pace and won the group 2 San Simeon Classic from Alta Intrigue last Friday week. His prospects diminished when he drew out wide at barrier eight, but he cannot be underestimated.
Alta Intrigue, to be driven by Gary Hall jnr, is better drawn at barrier three and should fight out the finish. He did his best work at the finish when he ran home strongly to score an easy victory over Just Makemine Diamonds last Friday night.
The Michael Brennan-trained Miss Limelight is the only mare in the field. She possesses excellent gate speed and is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2. She gave a splendid frontrunning display to win the group 2 WASBA feature event for mares last Friday night.