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Hall Of Fame to put Te Akau and Matt Cameron back on the honours board?
04 Nov 2016

Matt Cameron has a chance to win a second 2000 Guineas in as many years when he rides Hall Of Fame at Riccarton on Saturday.
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Matt Cameron has a chance to win a second 2000 Guineas in as many years when he rides Hall Of Fame at Riccarton on Saturday.

Team Te Akau aren't looking for anything too extravagant, a 2000 Guineas win by a nose will do.

Co-trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards line up smart colts Hall Of Fame and Heroic Valour in Saturday's Group I Sothys 2000 Guineas at Riccarton Park.

The Canterbury Jockey Club meeting kicks off the official start of Canterbury's cup week.

Autridge and Richards tasted their first Group I success of their newly formed partnership in the same race last year when Xtravagant​ was way too good from the outside gate to win by an almost unbelievable eight and a half lengths.

Leading jockey Matt Cameron, who rode Xtravagant to the flamboyant win and went on to do the Guineas double along with Autridge and Richards when Risque won the 1000 Guineas seven days later, chose to ride Hall Of Fame.

Mongolian Falcon is a $2.90 favourite with bookmakers but the money is coming for the second favourite Hall Of Fame following the barrier draw.

The Savabeel​ colt has moved in from $5.50 to $4.80 on Thursday after drawing barrier three.

Mongolian Falcon will jump from barrier four with Leith Innes aboard and Heroic Valour ($8.50) and Michael McNab will jump from barrier eight.

Richards expects the $400,000 race to be a tactical affair and even after the draw he struggles to separate the stablemates.

Cameron's decision to ride Hall Of Fame comes on the back of dominant wins in the Inglewood Stud Guineas Trial and the Listed Zacinto Stakes.

"We've always held him (Hall Of Fame) in very high regard and he's not far behind the other guy (Heroic Valour), he might even be going better than him at the moment," Richards said.

But even Richards acknowledged those two wins at Riccarton have not been against the same quality opposition as the Hawke's Bay Guineas and the James and Annie Sarten Memorial but Hall Of Fame can only win that races he is placed in and he has done that by a combined eight and a quarter lengths.

"I'm not sure on what he's been beating but what he has done is do it in very good fashion," Richards said.

Cameron is likely to be positive and use Hall Of Fame's barrier draw of three and be up on the speed.

Heroic Valour's draw is not all bad as Richards said McNab will likely be looking to settle around the middle of the 11-strong pack.

"He's still a little bit green but he has the ability," Richards said of the Fastnet Rock colt.

Richards said both Hall Of Fame and Heroic Valour worked individually on Tuesday and had impressed.

"We're very happy with both of them, we just need a bit of luck in the running."

Autridge and Richards will not have a runner in the 1000 Guineas on Saturday week.

Meanwhile, Richards said Xtravagant is back in work, following his failed Australian campaign, but no racing plan has been set at this stage.

 Matt Kermeen

 Stuff