Two pronged Sandown Guineas shot for leading team

Image: Bruno Cannatelli

The Fortune Teller and Holymanz will attempt to give Ciaron Maher and David Eustace their first win in the Sandown Guineas

Ciaron Maher and David Eustace are yet to officially win the Sandown Guineas but hope that will change with two runners in the Group 2 event at Caulfield on Saturday.

Villermont, who took out the race in 2017, was originally prepared by Maher until he was suspended over the ownership bona fides of Azkadellia.

The then three-year-old was transferred into the care of Aaron Purcell even though Eustace had joined Maher but not officially in a partnership which came the following year when Maher returned to the training ranks.

Saturday’s Group 2 1600m race will see Maher and Eustace run The Fortune Teller and Holymanz who, like Villermont, have only one win under their belt before tackling the Guineas.

“The reality is the Sandown Guineas is a race that is won by horses that have won one or two races,” Eustace said.

“It’s a Group 2 in name.”

The Fortune Teller has the right credentials.

A debut winner at Swan Hill in August, The Fortune Teller progressed to the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, finishing seventh at his fourth race start, before going on to finish third in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 29.

“He has done very little wrong,” Eustace said.

“His run in the Guineas was good, his run in the Carbine Club was good and this is a slightly lesser grade.

“It is a little frustrating that we couldn’t draw inside six or seven, but there looks enough speed, and he deserves his place in a race like that.”

On the other hand, Holymanz has raced on only two occasions scoring a debut win at Horsham on October 16 before running second in Class 1 grade at Bendigo on November 9.

“He has really come on since his run at Bendigo and he’s got a good gate,” Eustace said.

“He’s shown us enough to deserve his place in a race like this and a horse like him, hopefully he’s progressive enough to give it a shake.”

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