Two chances for back-to-back Mornington Guineas wins on Saturday

Mar 23, 2018

Trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra will chase a second consecutive Mornington Guineas (1500m) win with two runners on Saturday.

Odeon blitzed his opposition to claim last year’s edition of the $120,000 feature. Into Rio and Sheezdashing will represent the Flemington stable in the Mornington Cup support race.

Sheezdashing will tackle the Mornington Guineas with two luckless runs to her name this time in. She finished fourth in a Benchmark 64 over the unsuitable 1200m trip first-up before she was held up when fifth at Flemington last Saturday.

Zahra said the seven-day back-up wasn’t a concern for the stable because the daughter of Myboycharlie didn’t have a hard run at Flemington.

“It was like she didn’t have a race last week,” Zahra said.

“She needs galloping room and she didn’t get it on the inside of horses at Flemington. Ben (Thompson) couldn’t ride her out so the race became more like a track gallop.

“She’s better than that and we think she can show her real ability at Mornington. She’s drawn off the fence and Ben will be able to let her stride forward around the outside of horses when he needs to put her into the race.”

Into Rio could prove one of the toughest rivals for Sheezdashing if he repeats his effort to score first-up at Cranbourne on March 9.

The Zacinto gelding powered home to score narrowly fresh and will be fitter for that effort. Zacinto is also the sire of Odeon.

“He has taken a bit of time, but he finished off like a nice horse at Cranbourne,” Zahra said. “He has improved but staying at the 1500m might be a little concern.

“He might find the 1500m a bit short now but he’s going about his job the right way since he has been gelded.”

Daniel Moor will pilot Into Rio at Mornington. Apprentice Stephanie Thornton will ride the stable’s other runner, Matty, in the Peninsula Essence Handicap (1000m).

Matty ran a good first-up second to the smart Sprightly Lass when resuming. Sprightly Lass enhanced that form when she was beaten on protest in a stakes race in Sydney last Saturday.

“Sprightly Lass has certainly made that form look good so there’s no reason Matty won’t run a big race in Benchmark 78 level,” Zahra said.

“He has trained on well since his good first-up run at the Valley and we expect him to go close again.”

Good luck to the owners of the three stable runners at Mornington on Saturday.