WFA Seasoning Has Militarize Poised To Fire

A rising star of the three-year-old ranks and a colt that has already stamped himself among the best of his generation will clash for the first time in a tantalising rendition of the Randwick Guineas.

The Group 1 race features a small but select field of 11 runners but it is the match-up between Hobartville Stakes winner Celestial Legend and proven big race performer Militarize that has been the major pre-race talking point.

Celestial Legend lived up to his promise with a stunning Hobartville Stakes (1400m) win at his first start beyond 1200 metres and trainer Les Bridge has been adamant the horse won’t produce his best until he gets to the 1600 metres of Saturday’s Guineas.

Militarize is already proven at the journey as the winner of last season’s Champagne Stakes, form he took into the spring with a last-stride victory in the Golden Rose (1400m) and a luckless midfield performance in the Cox Plate (2040m).

Trainer Chris Waller deliberately bypassed a return in the Hobartville in favour of taking on the older horses in the Apollo Stakes (1400m) where Militarize finished an encouraging second to stablemate Fangirl .

It is that run that Waller believes marks Militarize as the horse they all have to get past on Saturday.

“We purposely chose taking on the weight-for-age horses just to season him up,” Waller said.

“And back to his own age group, he should be very hard to beat.

“It was a good first-up run, so 1400 metres to the mile, he is equally as effective.

“The beauty of Militarize is he is good on good tracks, or if we get a bit of rain, it’s not too much of a disadvantage either, so a pretty straightforward prep.”

While bullish about Militarize’s chances, Waller is also wary of Celestial Legend.

The colt has undeniable talent and Bridge has suggested he could be the horse to fill the void left by the retirement of his Everest winner Classique Legend.

Waller concedes his rival’s last-start performance was a head-turner and that Militarize will need to be on his game.

“Celestial Legend was brilliant,” Waller said.

“Obviously, we’ve got the benchmark and making sure that he comes back is my job.

“It will be a good race.”

Militarize is a $2.30 Randwick Guineas favourite after drawing well in barrier four, ahead of Celestial Legend who has the outside gate in the field of 11.

– RAS NewsWire

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