Celestial Legend shows fight to claim Randwick Guineas

Celestial Legend
Celestial Legend ridden by Kerrin McEvoy takes out the Group 1 Randwick Guineas. Photo: Racing NSW

The Les Bridge-trained Celestial Legend (+270) has fought off Militarize (+120) and Cafe Millennium (+7000) to secure a gritty victory in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on Saturday afternoon.

The son of Dundeel had to do it the hard way as opposed to his relatively soft victory in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago, sitting three wide without cover throughout the 1600m, still proving too good for his rivals in the shadows of the post.

He was favoured in some regards, thanks to a genuine tempo throughout the trip, with the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott pair of Les Vampires (+1800) and Ganbare (+2500) leading into the home bend.

Fukubana (+3300) pushed forward as well, allowing the back markers to come into play as the leading trio began to fade with 300m to go.

The favoured pair of Celestial Legend and Militarize appeared set to fight it out, throw in a late charge by Cafe Millennium, and punters were in for a grandstand finish.

Militarize loomed large on the inside, while Cafe Millennium looked like swamping the pair of them late, but it was Celestial Legend and Kerrin McEvoy who would prove victorious in the end, fending off all challengers to secure Group 1 glory in the famous colours of Classique Legend.

2024 Randwick Guineas Replay – Celestial Legend

Les Bridge was on course to praise his now Group 1 winning colt, and seems to think there is still more to come, perhaps in the form of a Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) tilt.

“He never got on the track (today),” said Bridge.

“It was amazing. I think he’s the best horse I’ve had and I’ve thought so for a while but I’ve been frightened to even admit it to myself. But he’s fantastic.

“If he pulls up well, I’ll run him in the Doncaster.

Bridge briefly spoke about the relationship he and the McEvoy family have as well.

“Well, his family has got Classique Legend. And there’s a really close bond between the lot of us. It’s special. That’s all I can say.”

Kerrin McEvoy gave full credit to his mount in his post-race assessment and spoke to the toughness of his colt to fight despite the torrid trip.

“He was great,” said McEvoy.

“It’s a dream for Les (Bridge) and for (owner) Bon (Ho). Les has really loved this horse for a while. It’s been well documented and he did a great job, the horse.

“It worked out fine early but then the pressure went on and then I lost my cover and I thought OK, I’ll just try to slide forward and be in front of J Mac (James McDonald) and then he muscled me out of the way on the corner and I had to just regroup and balance him.

“He was tough the last furlong because I had to ask him for that extreme effort and he put his head out and dug deep. It was a lovely win, first time up to the mile.”

Celestial Legend is now on the second line of betting at +500 with most online bookmakers for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 6.

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