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Holbien ready to tackle Bendigo Guineas

steve richards
Trainer Steve Richards will send Holbien to the Bendigo Guineas before setting a spring program.

With every win Holbien registers the more Flemington trainer Steve Richards forgives him.

As a yearling Holbien double-barrelled Richards putting him in intensive care at the Royal Melbourne Hospital with three broken ribs while he also lost his spleen.

Now a three-year-old, Holbien has won three of his five starts, including a last-start victory over 1400m at Flemington on March 17.

Holbien is set to have one more start as a three-year-old before heading to the paddock ahead of a spring preparation.

Richards has picked out the Bendigo Guineas (1400m) on Saturday.

The trainer has good reason to think Holbein can measure up to spring company.

“The race he won the other day, Theanswermyfriend won last year, beating Mr Sneaky,” Richards said.

“They’ve come out as four-year-olds and turned out to be not bad horses.”

Theanswermyfriend ran fifth in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield last year with Mr Sneaky finishing second behind stablemate Santa Ana Lane.

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“He’s (Holbien) always shown us good ability,” Richards said.

“His win the other day was pretty dominant and I think he’ll come back and improve again as a four-year-old in the spring.

“It’s probably time to go out and develop a bit more and then see if he can come back and measure up to something in the spring.

“It’s his second prep but I think he’s got one more in him so I’d say after this one he’d go for a break.”

In time Richards believes Holbien will develop into a 1600m to 2000m horse but he is prepared to restrict him to 1400m at this stage.

Holbien is one of the 36 nominations for Saturday’s Listed race that carries $150,000 prize money.

“I’ve had a look at the nominations and it’s not a bad field, and so it should be,” Richards said.

“He’s one of those horses that makes his own luck.

“Typical of a Gai Waterhouse, Tommy Smith, Lindsay Park type of horse, being up on the speed, not being out the back, needing the right pace, needing the right runs and not getting checks.”

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