Guard Of Honour narrowly wins hot Heritage

Guard Of Honour has stamped himself as a Group-class colt with a narrow win in a strong Heritage Stakes.

Guard Of Honour ($4.80) held off Flash Fibian ($61) by a half head in the Listed race at Randwick on Saturday.

The James Cummings-trained Hair Trigger ($7) finished third.

Jockey Hugh Bowman said Guard Of Honour would improve off the race which had a host of smart horses.

“I thought they had him there and he found,” Bowman said.

Trainer Kris Lees said Group Two Roman Consul Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on October 1 would be a logical step for Guard Of Honour.

“Whether he’s ready for that we’ll just see how he comes through today,” Lees said.

Bowman hinted the extra 100m would suit.

“After the line he was working away again,” he said.

Lees said he would consider a tilt at the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.

“That’s the next level again but he’s a nice colt so we’ve got to think that way,” Lees said.

“He’ll definitely improve off the run but he’ll probably need to to keep going forward.”

A raft of horses ran creditably including Generalissimo who finished strongly to finish fifth.

But $2.90 favourite Tango Rain failed to fire, weakening out of the race to finish sixth.

“He began swiftly from the gates but once he was in front he just didn’t relax or settle,” Tango Rain’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy said.

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