One of the early favourites in the 2011 Royal Sovereign Stakes field is the Chris Waller-trained Pressday.
The classy galloper, however, has suffered a blow drawing the far outside barrier 12 for Saturday when they resume racing after a three month break.
Domesday colt Pressday enjoyed three successive Group wins in the winter including a nice victory in the Group 1 T.J. Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
During the spring they ran a disappointing 11th first-up in the Coolmore Stud Stakes but was back to form at Sandown winning the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) last start on November 13.
After a successful 900 barrier trial win at Rosehill on February 1, Pressday looks ready to make an impact again this season.
Along with Pressday the top rated Royal Sovereign Stakes hopefuls this year are the Peter Snowden-trained Skilled (barrier five) and two runners from the stables of David Payne, Masquerader and Praecido.
Commands colt Skilled is another Group 1 winner in the Royal Sovereign field having taken out the Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last autumn.
Last campaign Skilled produced a number of promising runs but needs to show improvement to cause an upset here.
Masquerader has come up trumps with barrier one for Saturday, the son of Lucky Owners having run a game third to Anacheeva beaten by just over a length in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at their last start.
Stablemate Praecido, runner-up in the 2010 Victoria Derby beaten 6 ½ lengths by Lion Tamer, has not drawn as favourably for the Royal Sovereign, set to start from barrier 10 with apprentice hoop Josh Adams booked for the ride.
Other notable acceptors for the 2011 Royal Sovereign Stakes include the Gai Waterhouse-trained More Than Ready colt Brightexpectations (barrier four), last year’s Golden Rose third placegetter Ilovethiscity (barrier seven) and Gerald Ryan’s Snitzel colt Top Drop (barrier 11) coming off a third behind Torio’s Quest in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at the Gold Coast on January 15.
The 2011 David Jones Royal Sovereign Stakes is scheduled to run as Race 7 at Randwick on Saturday, one event after the marquee event, the $200,000 Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m).
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2011 Royal Sovereign Stakes Field, Barriers & Weights
|#||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|1||PRESSDAY||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||12||56||99|
|2||SKILLED||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||5||56||98|
|3||MASQUERADER||David Payne||Hugh Bowman||1||56||94|
|4||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||Josh Adams (a)||10||56||92|
|5||BRIGHTEXPECTATIONS||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry (a)||4||56||87|
|6||ILOVETHISCITY||Grahame Begg||Brenton Avdulla||7||56||85|
|7||TOP DROP||Gerald Ryan||Jim Cassidy||11||56||83|
|8||NO HESITATION||Clarry Conners||Jim Byrne||9||56||76|
|9||AUDACIOUS SPIRIT||Gillian Heinrich||Glen Colless||6||56||74|
|10||MASTER HARRY||Peter G Moody||Tim Clark||3||56||74|
|11||FROM THE VAULT||Mark de Montfort||Joshua Parr||8||56||72|
|12||LIGHT BRIGADE||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||2||56||67|
Photo courtesy (c) Taron Clarke Photography