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Guineas hopes step out in Manfred Stakes

A host of Australian Guineas hopefuls will begin their campaigns at Caulfield including Godolphin colt Morton’s Fork, a Group Two winner in the spring.

Morton’s Fork, who won the Sandown Guineas, lines up in Saturday’s Group Three Manfred Stakes (1200m).

The winner of four of his nine starts, Morton’s Fork shares the top line of TAB fixed odds betting for next month’s Group One Australian Guineas at Flemington along with his John O’Shea-trained stablemate Bezel and Lindsay Park’s Seaburge.

O’Shea has indicated the Randwick Guineas is on the radar for Bezel, who resumes in Saturday’s Eskimo Prince Stakes in Sydney.

The Randwick Guineas is on the same day as the Australian Guineas.

Morton’s Fork finished second to Comin’ Through in the Carbine Club Stakes during the Melbourne Cup carnival before going on to score a narrow but impressive win over 1600m at Sandown.

“The only time he’s missed a place he was very unlucky and he confirmed that by going on to win the Sandown Guineas,” O’Shea said.

“The Australian Guineas is his target. I expect him to run well on Saturday, but he’ll be better for the run.”

Stablemate Trenchant also resumes in the Manfred and O’Shea said all going well he would also head towards the Australian Guineas.

Caulfield trainer Stuart Webb’s duo of Legless Veuve and Wazzenme are also on an Australian Guineas path and resume in the Manfred.

Legless Veuve won the Group Two Thousand Guineas Prelude during the spring before finishing at the tail of the field in the Thousand Guineas.

Jockey Mark Zahra continues his association with Legless Veuve on Saturday having ridden the filly in four of her five starts.

Legless Veuve is the only filly in Saturday’s 12-horse field and will be out to become the first filly since Mosheen in 2012 to win the Manfred.

“She worked on the course proper on Tuesday morning and she’s going well,” Zahra said.

“There’s a bit of improvement in her. She’s still pretty big and burly but I reckon she’s improved since last preparation.”

Morton’s Fork, Caulfield Guineas third placegetter Hey Doc, and Derryn share favouritism for the Manfred at $5.

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