Riff Rocket chases rare treble in G1 Australian Guineas

Riff Rocket will attempt to follow the deeds of Mahogany when he runs in the Australian Guineas at Flemington.

Mahogany won the Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in 1993 before returning the following year to win the Vanuatu Stakes (1400m), now the C S Hayes Stakes, also at headquarters.

Riff Rocket, won last year’s Derby, and resumed to win the C S Hayes whereas Mahogany did have a 1000m win under his belt prior to his 1400m success at Flemington.

Following that 1400m success, Mahogany went on to claim the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington which is where Riff Rocket is headed to on Saturday.

Riff Rocket was explosive in his Flemington victory and the Mahogany connection was not lost on trainer Chris Waller .

He said Riff Rocket had come through his first win in excellent shape and was looking forward to seeing him step up in trip on Saturday.

“He was probably similar to Fangirl (in the Apollo Stakes),” Waller said.

“They were well prepared, they’d had their two trials and I know he likes Flemington, as he was also dominant in an 1800-metre race there in the spring.”

Waller took advantage of taking Riff Rocket to Macedon Lodge to recover from his first-up victory before he returned to the Flemington stables late last week.

Riff Rocket and stablemate Cap Ferrat, who is also set to start in the Guineas, had a gallop on the course proper at Flemington on Tuesday.

Waller was happy with the return run of Cap Ferrat when sixth behind his stablemate in the C S Hayes.

Cap Ferrat is still a maiden after 10 starts but has been a consistent performer at Stakes level.

“He got home quite well (first-up),” Waller said.

“He ran second in the Spring Champion Stakes, and he has come back a more mature horse.

“He was back near-last first-up and he was taking a bit of ground off them late, so a mile will suit him better.”

Waller also has Militarize entered in Saturday’s race, but he also holds a nomination for the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on Saturday week.

Tannhauser is also entered, but after finishing behind Riff Rocket and Cap Ferrat in the C S Hayes, Waller is favouring bypassing Saturday’s race.

“He could even come back to Sydney to head to a race like the Tulloch Stakes,” Waller said.

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