One-time favourite Tosen Stardom has been officially withdrawn from Australian Cup entries at the first acceptance stage while star sprinter Redzel is no longer in Newmarket Handicap calculations.
First acceptances for Saturday week’s Australian Guineas and the following week’s Newmarket Handicap and Australian Cup have closed with 29 three-year-olds remaining in the Guineas, 33 horses in the Newmarket Handicap and 26 in the Australian Cup.
Premier Victorian trainer Darren Weir flagged late last week that Tosen Stardom was unlikely to head to the Australian Cup (2000m) on March 10 after a tough first-up run in the C F Orr Stakes.
The Weir-trained Gailo Chop is the current Australian Cup favourite at $5 ahead of Godolphin star Hartnell ($6).
Melbourne Cup winners Almandin and Rekindling are also still among the Australian Cup entries.
Narrowly beaten by Redkirk Warrior in Saturday’s Group One Lightning Stakes, the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Redzel would have been the likely topweight for the Newmarket.
Last year’s winner Redkirk Warrior is one of 10 horses from the Lindsay Park stable still in Newmarket contention with weights to be announced next Tuesday.
Champion sprinter Chautauqua, one of nine Group One winners still in the Newmarket, now seems likely to head the weights while the current favourite is three-year-old Merchant Navy at $4.50.
Only two fillies, Aloisia and Bring Me Roses, figure among the Australian Guineas first acceptors to take on the colts and geldings.
Trainer Aaron Purcell said Aloisia, the Guineas favourite before her fifth in Saturday’s Vanity (1400m) for fillies at Flemington, had come through the race well.
“She did enough on Saturday to suggest that if things go her way in the Guineas that she’s going to be pretty hard to beat,” Purcell said.
Cliff’s Edge was at $4.50 on Tuesday ahead of Grunt at $5.50 while Aloisia is at $8.50 along with Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss.