D’Argento to state claim for Guineas

d'argento
The Chris Waller-trained D’Argento (r) puts his Guineas hopes on the line in the Hobartville Stakes.

Unbeaten colt D’Argento can cement himself as a prime contender for the Randwick Guineas when he steps up in class at Rosehill.

Trainer Chris Waller believes Saturday’s Group Two Hobartville Stakes will give him a clear indication where the colt sits in the pecking order.

“If he runs the top three he’s definitely a Randwick Guineas hope and he’s a genuine lightweight Doncaster chance if he can perform in his next two runs,” Waller said.

D’Argento returns from a month-long freshen-up for the Hobartville (1400m) with Waller buoyed by his race record and a barrier trial outing against seasoned competitors at Randwick on February 12.

He finished third behind Dixie Blossoms and Group One winner Russian Revolution.

“We’ve given him a nice solid trial against older horses so he’s going to be ready to go,” Waller said.

“If 1400 is his best distance he’ll fight out the finish though I’m getting an inkling he might be looking for a mile.”

Waller hopes that prediction is on the mark with the Randwick Guineas (1600m) looming on March 10.

“It’s a good time to try him two weeks out from the Guineas. He’s one of the favourites for it and Saturday will tell us he’s on track.”

D’Argento was at $6.50 with the TAB on Thursday for the Hobartville behind Godolphin’s rising star Kementari ($2.30) and Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist ($3.90).

Waller was upbeat about D’Argento’s prospects of extending his winning to sequence to four.

“He brings fresh form lines, a good draw and a good jockey (Hugh Bowman). There’s a lot of positives,” he said.

Waller said D’Argento, who broke his maiden in Newcastle in July, emphasised the benefit of taking a patient approach.

“He’s been given a bit of time. He was a horse running on nervous energy so we just tried to harness that and he’s just gone from strength to strength,” he said.

“He’s the furnished product now in terms of racing manners.”