The headline race on the Warwick Farm race-card for this Saturday, the meeting transferred from Randwick due to safety concerns with the QEII Stand, is the 2011 Chelmsford Stakes which has drawn a final field of 12 gallopers.
Sydney premiership winning trainer Chris Waller will, as expected, be represented by a quartet of runners from his stables in the $175,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
Leading Waller’s contingent in the weight-for-age feature is the former Queen-owned galloper My Kingdom Of Fife.
The six-year-old gelding, winner of three of their four starts down under including the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes last season, was last seen running second to Scenic Shot in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) on May 21.
After a nice break, the Cox Plate 2011-bound stayer will jump from barrier seven on Saturday with jockeys to be confirmed for all of Waller’s hopefuls.
Waller will also be represented by stablemates Hawk Island (barrier eight), Illustrious Blue (barrier four) and his Sydney Cup winner Stand To Gain (barrier six).
Drawn in the far outside barrier for the Chelmsford Stakes 2011 is the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained Maluckyday.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up is looking to resume racing having been withdrawn from their two formerly-scheduled first-up runs due to track conditions.
Maluckyday, who ran unplaced in their three autumn starts in Sydney, has also been accepted for the feature race at Flemington on Saturday, the $300,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) with a decision on which race they will in fact contest pending.
Big winners in the Chelmsford Stakes barrier draw were Anthony Cummings’ Savabeel gelding Strike The Stars (barrier one), dual Stradbroke Handiap winner Black Piranha (barrier two) and the Gregory Hickman-trained Mirjulisa Lass.
Four-year-old Danasinga mare Mirjulisa Lass had her first-up spring run a fortnight ago running a disappointing 10th to Red Tracer in the Listed Toy Show Quality (1300m) on a Heavy Warwick Farm track.
Shock victor of the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) as a $50 roughie at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day, the Gregory Hickman-trained Mirjulisa Lass finished dead last in the AJC Oaks when failing to let down in the wet, but connections are hopeful drier tracks this spring could lead to more Group glory.
“I’m very happy with her at home, it’s just a shame she doesn’t handle wet tracks,” Hickman said.
Saturday will be Mirjulisa Lass’s first attempt at weight-for-age, her performance in which will determine where she goes this prep.
The Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 17 is on the agenda for Mirjulisa Lass next-up, should the rain stay away in Sydney.
She is also nominated for a number of the majors during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival including the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
“If she is good enough to be there, we’ll go,” Hickman said.
She is a triple-figure roughie in both the 2011 Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate 2011 betting markets through Luxbet.
Other notable runners in the Chelmsford Stakes field this year include Bruce Hill’s Gold Coast raider Startsmeup who ran an eye-catching third to Pinwheel in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 20 and Joseph Pride’s reigning Doncaster Mile winning mare Sacred Choice who ran a first-up sixth in the Warwick Stakes.
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2011 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes Final Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.|
|1||3566X1112X||MY KINGDOM OF FIFE (GB)||Chris Waller||–||7||59kg||114|
|2||8009X53854||BLACK PIRANHA||Con Karakatsanis||Matthew Palmer||2||59kg||112|
|3||X941341FX6||HAWK ISLAND (IRE)||Chris Waller||–||8||59kg||109|
|4||31112X447X||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jim Cassidy||12||59kg||108|
|5||15X95X060X||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||Chris Waller||–||4||59kg||107|
|6||298563X7X5||TRUSTING||John P Thompson||Joao Moreira||11||59kg||107|
|7||441X84301X||STAND TO GAIN (IRE)||Chris Waller||–||6||59kg||103|
|8||70641240X3||ZARA DANCER (NZ)||Bruce Wallace||Nathan Berry||10||59kg||85|
|9||352320X213||STARTSMEUP||Bruce W Hill||Paul Hammersley||9||58.5kg||95|
|10||1X603512X7||SACRED CHOICE||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||5||57kg||117|
|11||1X151310X0||MIRJULISA LASS||Gregory Hickman||Tommy Berry||3||56.5kg||99|
|12||2752||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Ms Kathy O’Hara||1||50.5kg||68|