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Spoilt for choice in 2000 Guineas

9 November 2017, 1:47 p.m.

With three in-form runners in Saturday’s Group One feature at Riccarton, Jamie Richards is finding it mission impossible to tip the stable’s leading prospect.

With training partner Stephen Autridge, the Matamata horseman will be represented by Embellish, Te Akau Shark and Age Of Fire in the Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Embellish Photo: Peter Rubery Race Images

“It’s very, very hard to split them,” Richards said. “They have all done nothing wrong and they are all fit and happy and working well.”

The Savabeel colt Embellish is the pre-post favourite after consecutive wins at Ruakaka and Trentham, beating race rival Ever Loyal the first time and downing the older horses at his latest appearance. He will be ridden on Saturday by Opie Bosson.

“I know that Opie just loves Embellish and the horse isn’t a brilliant trackworker, but he is up to the mark,” Richards said.

Te Akau Shark is yet to be tested with an unbeaten record after wins at Te Rapa and Matamata.

“He’s still quite new and having his third start in a Group One, but he deserves his place,” Richards said.

The son of Rip Van Winkle will be partnered by Michael McNab, while Matt Cameron has the ride on Fastnet Rock’s son Age Of Fire.

“Age Of Fire is probably the smokie in the race and he will love the mile at Riccarton being out of a Galileo mare,” Richards said.

“We’re sure they will all run very well. They are lightly-tried horses and Embellish was the only one to run at two so they are still yet to peak.” – NZ Racing Desk.