Guineas Hopeful for Godolphin
Tara Madgwick - Wednesday, 8 March 2017
The powerful Godolphin team won the opening two races at Warwick Farm with two impressive juvenile first starters by Lonhro and Medaglia D'Oro (USA).

Prepared by John O'Shea and sent out favourite, Lonhro filly Almanzora looked very professional when jumping fast to take up a position outside the leader for Brenton Avdulla.

She travelled strongly and when asked to go forward lengthened stride nicely to surge clear and win the 1100 metre scamper by a length and a half.

Powering home for second was the fast finishing Pierro filly Aqua D'Ivina, who also ran a terrific race on debut and is from former star mare Aqua D'Amore.

A Darley homebred, Almanzora is the first winner for stakes-winning Commands mare Palomares, a three-quarter sister to Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes winner Earthquake.

Medaglia D'OroMedaglia D'Oro (USA) colt Astoria won even more impressively than his stablemate.

He covered ground in the run for Tye Angland travelling three deep behind the leaders, but made light work of the heavy ground when zooming clear to win the 1100 metre contest by more than three lengths.

"He's always been a nice colt," said Joh O'Shea.

"We had him ready for the early trials in the spring, but then he started growing and kept growing, so we've given him the time to furnish his big frame."

In the immediate future there are minor Black Type races ahead for Astoria, but long term plans are loftier.

"We're hoping he's a Guineas horse in the spring," said O'Shea.

"He has immense quality."

And so he should given his pedigree!

By the sire of Group I winning colts Vancouver and Astern, Astoria is the first foal of Segue, a metro winning half-sister by Ad Valorem (USA) to Champion Two and Three Year Old Colt Viscount from the Diamond Lover branch of the illustrious Eight Carat (GB) family.

Segue is back in foal to Medaglia D'Oro, which might prove an astute move if Astoria continues onwards and upwards.

Lonhro and Medaglia D'Oro have strong representation at the upcoming Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, the former with seven entries and the latter with 26.

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