Guineas hope races the clock

Time may be tight, but Danny O'Brien hopes today's 1200m Betfair Handicap at Sandown can prove a Cadbury Guineas launching pad for Iamzeus.

O'Brien said the clock was looming as an enemy for Iamzeus as he struggled to find a suitable race for the colt to open his Guineas preparation.

O'Brien said he wanted to run Iamzeus first-up over 1200m, but the dearth of suitable races for three-year-olds had forced him to run him against older horses.

He said if Iamzeus, an $18 Guineas chance with TAB Sportsbet, performed well today, he would head to the 1400m Autumn Stakes at Caulfield on February 21 and the Guineas at Flemington on March 7.

"We've had to run against older horses because the last 1200m for three-year-olds was on Australia Day," O'Brien said.

"The programming in the autumn is a bit random. There were a couple of 1400m races this month, but I wanted to run him over 1200m because he hasn't raced for a while."

Iamzeus, who has had minor surgery to remove a bone fragment from a joint, impressed in his only two runs in the spring. He won on the Geelong Thoroughtrack on debut and was a luckless, narrow second to subsequent Carbine Club Stakes winner Dr Doute's at Flemington.

O'Brien hopes Keano can break the shackles in Saturday's 1600m Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley, after striking a traffic jam in the 1400m C. S. Hayes Stakes at Flemington.

"I'm waiting for the time he can go to a race meeting where he doesn't have to jump over slow horses," O'Brien said.

"I think Keano is the best three-year-old in Victoria, but he just can't get a run at them. He should be undefeated."

By Adrian Dunn

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Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here

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