Kent eyes major autumn 3YO races

Feb 05, 2013

By Mike Hedge, AAP

The full set of Australia's top autumn three-year-old races could well have taken more distinct shape for trainer Mick Kent by the end of this week.

Kent, whose ambitions are matched by an uncanny skill to encourage horses to fulfil them, will run two of his most promising young gallopers at Caulfield on Saturday.

And if they race as he expects them to, they will be on the way to appearing in the Australian Guineas in Melbourne and the Sydney triple crown of the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas and the Australian Derby.

Kent's autumn plans for his emerging three-year-olds Philippi and High Shot moved to a new level when they both turned in quality trials on Monday.

Philippi, who created a strong impression winning his only three starts last spring, ran a comfortable second to the sprinting filly Miss Softhands in a 1000m trial and High Shot caught the eye, coming from a distant last to roll home into third place in another 1000m heat.

Both begin their latest campaigns in the Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

"Philippi is just where I want him to be," Kent said.

"The jockey was able to sit on him there today and not do much .... a real good trial."

Philippi graduated from maiden class to win a Listed race two runs later in the spring and in typical style, Kent put him away for something better.

"I think he's a 2000 metre horse so I'm looking at the Australian Guineas and then the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas," he said.

High Shot, a son of High Chaparral from a Sir Tristram mare, is Kent's Australian Derby hope.

"I've had the Australian Derby earmarked for him for a while," Kent said.

"He's got the pedigree, he's that sort of horse."

Kent has prepared High Shot for what he agrees is an ambitious mission with a lot of clockwise work.

"I've had him going the Sydney way for a while at home and he's more comfortable on that leg.," he said.

"It's only his second preparation and he's still fairly immature, but he's got the right constitution and the Derby might be the race for him.

Saturday's race could give Kent a good idea of the feasibility of his plan with Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar entered, along with the promising young stayer Hvasstan.