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Family’s Guineas hopes still alive

27 October 2017, 12:50 p.m.

Second chances don’t come around too often and a South Island stable is preparing to make the most of theirs.

Successful breeders, owners and trainers Joe, Martin, Ray and Tony Dennis lost a leading Gr.1 gavelhouse.com New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas (1600m) prospect when the undefeated The Precious One, prepared for them by Claire Anderton, was ruled out by injury.

The Sparkle Photo: Wild Range Photography

However, all is not lost for the Southland brothers who, along with Tony’s son Robert, will be looking to The Lustre and The Sparkle to press their claims for the November 18 classic when they front up in Saturday’s Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.

Close relations of The Precious One, the pair are both last-start maiden winners at Winton earlier this month.

“As long as they put in good performances they will go on to the Guineas,” Robert Dennis said.

“If you had asked me before their last starts, I would have gone for The Sparkle but the way The Lustre improved from her first start to her second I honestly can’t split them now.

“It’s coming up two years since I got my licence and to have two serious racehorses like this with only nine in work is quite exciting.

“I’ve put in a lot of hours with them. They’ve had plenty of work as we’ve probably had a better winter and early spring than the rest of the country.

“The Precious One got quite a lot of hype in the media and I’ve been sitting quietly knowing I’ve got two good ones.”

Dennis said Saturday’s track at Riccarton would suit his daughters of Darci Brahma, also the sire of The Precious One.

“I’m very confident The Sparkle will handle wetter ground as well – Darci Brahma seems to leave horses that handle all types of tracks.” – NZ Racing Desk.