Converge locked in for Randwick Guineas despite Sydney forecast

Converge (Steve Hart)

Converge is “in good shape” ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m), according to co-trainer Adrian Bott.

The three-year-old gelding won the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm last June in emphatic fashion, which saw him rocket to the top of Caulfield Guineas markets; however, he didn’t come back as expected, failing in his only run of the spring.

The son of Frankel resumed in fine order on February 5, catching the eye when third to Paulele in the Group 2 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m), before running third behind Anamoe and Hilal in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) on February 19.

Converge holds a nomination for both the Randwick Guineas in Sydney and the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday, but Bott has confirmed that he will stay in Sydney despite the likely heavy track.

“Obviously there’s been a far bit of heavy rain over the last few days and again this morning, he’s been working on a fairly heavy track out there, but he seemed to handle the conditions alright,” Bott told SEN Track.

“He continues to show the improvement that we had hoped throughout the preparation headed towards Saturday.

“I’d much prefer to see him on top of the ground, but we’re not going to get anywhere near that, so it is what it is.

“He’s remaining here and he’s in good shape.”

Although the stable gave plenty of thought to running the gelding in Melbourne in search of a dry track, Bott said that they didn’t want to mess up his routine too much, considering there are still other target races for him in mind this autumn.

“We’ve still got a few more targets for him here (Sydney) outside of Saturday,” he said.

“We haven’t exposed him before on a heavy track, but it just felt best keeping him here in his routine – we’ve still got the Rosehill Guineas and potentially another couple of runs to remain here, so a heavy track, hopefully is not going to be affecting that lead up.”

Converge has shown a lethal turn of foot in his 10 career starts, so connections will be hoping that can prove to be the difference on Saturday.

On a few occasions in the early half of his career, Converge did settle close to the speed, but being only a small horse, he struggled to see out his races, so his newfound racing pattern has been much more advantageous.

“I guess not being an overly big horse, maybe it’s hard for him to sustain that long – we know he’s very sharp – but probably just sustaining that amount of pressure for a long time just left him vulnerable in the past,” the trainer said.

“We’ve seen that, he always loomed up and just wasn’t quite able to go on with it, so when he’s been able to a bit more conservative, he was able to really take advantage of that turn of foot that he’s got.”

The stable also have Never Been Kissed and Silent Impact nominated for the Randwick Guineas, but they are both unlikely to take their place.

Never Been Kissed finished well back in Saturday’s Surround Stakes, so the seven-day backup is unlikely for the Group 1-winning filly, given a race like the Australian Oaks will be her grand final, while Silent Impact will need to improve after a “disappointing” sixth in the Hobartville.

“We haven’t fully made up our minds in regards to Silent Impact,” Bott said.

“There’s a few other options for him as well.

“Obviously we were hoping to see a little bit more from him in the Hobartville – he was a bit disappointing there, but he can be forgiven for the one poor run.

“He’s got a bit to make up in terms of his performance at this level against a few of the other opposition, but we’ll make a decision very shortly.”

Converge sits on the third line of betting for the Randwick Guineas at $6, while Silent Impact and Never Been Kissed are both $51 chances.

Anamoe currently dominates betting, firming to a short quote of $1.70 after connections of Profondo all but confirmed that they will be heading to Flemington with the star colt to run in the Australian Guineas instead.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments