iskander

Begg eyeing second Emirates Stakes


Sydney trainer Grahame Begg is hoping All Silent can win tomorrow’s Emirates Stakes and give him his first Group One success since Bonanova landed the feature nine years ago.

Grahame Begg Begg trains about 30 horses at Randwick and All Silent would present him with his eighth Group One win.

Begg said All Silent had spent the last week at Lee Freedman’s Markdel training complex at Rye on the Mornington Peninsula and had thrived in the surroundings.

"He has trained on beautifully and is in great order," Begg said.

"He has had a nice week down at Markdel and went to the beach on Wednesday."

All Silent only made his race debut as a three-year-old in July last year and after winning his first two starts the equine influenza outbreak cancelled his spring.

He quickly established himself as a topline galloper when he won the Group Two Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in the autumn and two starts ago finished a close fourth in the Group One Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.

"He has taken a quantum leap and the Emirates will be only his 11th start in a race," Begg said.

"He only started racing in July last year but he is an exciting horse who hits the line and doesn’t know how to lie down."

All Silent was in danger of being balloted from the $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m) until last Saturday when he nearly doubled his stake earnings to $348,000 with his fourth race win in the AAMI Travel Insurance Stakes (1400m).

Begg said he had planned to run All Silent a week earlier in the Waterford Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley but for historical reasons switched to the Derby Day race, which exempted the winner from the Emirates ballot.

Scenic Peak is the only Emirates Stakes winner in the last 15 years to come through the Waterford Crystal while four of the last 10 Emirates winners contested the AAMI Travel Insurance Stakes, formerly known as the Yallambee Stakes.

"After we looked at the stats we changed tack a little bit and decided to wait for the 1400-metre race on Derby Day," Begg said.

Dwayne Dunn has picked up the ride on All Silent after his Derby Day-winning jockey Damien Oliver was suspended.

The five-year-old is well drawn in gate four and Eskander’s Betstar has him $5.50 favourite ahead of Bank Robber ($6) who last start beat All Silent home when second in the Epsom Handicap.

TAB Sportsbet quoted both horses at $5.

Apart from Bonanova, Begg’s other Group One winners have been Eye Of The Sky (1990 Doomben Cup), Whisked (1990 Thousand Guineas), Mahaya (1993 AJC Oaks), Fraternity (1993 Spring Champion Stakes) and Telesto (1994 Chipping Norton Stakes and 1994 George Ryder Stakes).
By Robert Windmill