Legarto flashes home to take out dramatic Australian Guineas win

Legarto (NZ) ridden by Michael Dee wins the Australian Guineas at Flemington Racecourse on March 04, 2023 in Flemington, Australia. (Photo by Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

The New Zealand raiders Ken & Bev Kelso have taken out the Group 1 Australian Guineas with Legarto who powered over the top of Attrition in the final 50m to record her second Group 1 success of her short career.

After jumping nicely, Michael Dee had his filly midfield on the fence, with a lot of traffic in front of her, but as the field rounded the home turn, he was able to get off the fence and go for a run on the outside of horse.

However, at the 300m the eventual third-placegetter Japanese Emperor closed the gap on her and made her switch back to the inside, but when Dee pushed the button, the daughter of Proisir exploded and flashed home to nab Attrition in the final strides.

The punters were all over the Kiwi filly in the closing stages of betting, as she was smashed in betting from $9 to $6.50 with online bookmakers in the final 10 minutes of betting.

Even though the win of Legarto was thrilling, there was a fall that happened about 250m out from the winning post in the home straight that saw Maximillius and Holymanz tumble along with their jockeys, Ethan Brown and Mark Zahra.

Ethan Brown was taken to hospital in an ambulance for further assessment, while Zahra was treated on track for any injuries he suffered.

2023 Australian Guineas Replay – Legarto

Ken & Bev Kelso only have a few horses in work and their star filly has given them their first Group 1 victory in Australia, and they spoke post-race.

“She’s just an amazing filly,” Ken Belso said.

“Probably 100 (metres) out you thought you were gonna run fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth to be lucky.

“She does things that other horses can’t do, she’s pretty special.”

“She’s just incredible, every time she races I stand there with my mouth open, saying how the hell did she do that,” Bev Kelso said.

“Like today, how the hell did she do that.

“We’ve been very lucky.”

Michael Dee has connected with his fellow Kiwi’s to take out the Australian Guineas, seeing him win his second Group 1 in seven days.

“I ended up on the back of Attrition thinking that the horse was gonna take me through and get me out of trouble,” Dee explained.

“As it worked out the Moroney horse that Stacky (Daniel Stackhouse) was on was going really well so I was stuck in there for quite some time.

“To Legarto’s credit, wow, she has a very good turn of foot.

“To get out when she did and rally over the top, it was an amazing effort.”

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