Horse name: Guardini

Age: 6

Sex: Horse

Trainer: Darren Weir

Owner: Wide ownership

Country: France

Attempt?: Confirmed

Our handicap: 51kgs

Formline: Heatherlie Stakes

Distance Query?: Not over 2400m, but 3200m?

Path?: Melbourne Spring

Likes wet?: Won on both surfaces

Notes: Guardini was bought down to Australia from France in 2015 with a long-term look at a Melbourne Cup. He’d won the Group 2 Girling Preis at Cologne in May 2015.

He didn’t do much in the 2015 Geelong Cup, finishing well off them. After a spell, he put together a preparation culminating in a Group 3 win at Randwick of 2000m. After that win, his jockey Hugh Bowman was effusive:

“Guardini’s a beautiful looking horse and I had the luxury of galloping him at Werribee in the spring,” he said.

“It’s so important to get your horse into a rhythm but gee he really worked into it well coming into the corner and he was very strong late.

“Whether he’s up to the top grade time will tell but he’s certainly got the action to suggest he’s a genuine Group 1 horse.”

The flashy grey missed the 2016 spring and in a 70 week layoff, changed trainers to Darren Weir from the Freedmans. So, this is the big time for him now.

He was tenth first-up in a 1600m handicap, but then put in a good effort to finish second in the Heatherlie:

It looked like he peaked on his run and the chasers wore him down to the line. Jockey Brad Rawiller was suspended for the ride too. Backers would’ve loved to have seen him hold his own or pull away, but it certainly wasn’t his grand final. He probably needs to win his way into the big one though so expect to see more of him.