Phelan Ready for Testa Rossa Stakes 2011 Win

Thornhill Park-based horseman Jason McLachlan is confident Saturday will see a return to form from his former Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready, the five-year-old headlining a slick field of sprinters accepted for the 2011 Testa Rossa Stakes at Caulfield’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day meeting.

Phelan Ready

Phelan Ready is out to score their first race win since the 2009 Golden Slipper when they line up in Saturday's Testa Rossa Stakes

More Than Ready gelding Phelan Ready has started 23 times to date, but has only been in the winners stall on two occasions when they won the $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic as a two-year-old on the Gold Coast in 2009 before their victory in that year’s coveted Golden Slipper.

Since then it has been a series of setbacks and frustrations for connections of Phelan Ready.

They looked to be on track for a form turnaround, however, when they made their new-season debut at Flemington on September 3 running an eye-catching fourth to finish only a length away from Lone Rock in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m).

“He has had his fair share of issues the last couple of years but he has come back well this time in,” McLachlan said.

On Saturday Phelan Ready has their second spring start in the $100,000 Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m), which is scheduled to run as Caulfield Race 7 at 4:20pm local time.

Drawn well in barrier five of 12 and due to be ridden by Brad Rawiller, Phelan Ready will carry 57.5kg and is sure to see plenty of attention from the punters at Luxbet.

Topweight of the Testa Rossa Stakes 2011 field is Anthony Freedman’s classy six-year-old First Command with 59kg and Dwayne Dunn engaged for the ride from gate four.

Other notable acceptors for the spring showdown include the Mark Kavanagh-trained Group 2 winner Shrapnel (barrier 12), Cranbourne galloper Chosen To Fly (barrier eight) who will be ridden by Glen Boss and comes off a solid third behind Group 1 winner Atomic Force at Caulfield, and consistent four-year-old Speediness (barrier 11) who is a son of the race’s namesake Testa Rossa.

Meanwhile leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody will attempt back-to-back wins in the race following the success of Avenue in the Testa Rossa Stakes 12 months ago with stablemates Doubtful Jack, Miss Gai Flyer and Irish Dream all paid up for.

Of the trio, Luke Nolen’s mount Irish Dream looks his best chance of success following their last-start win over 1200 metres at Moonee Valley on September 10.

Below is the complete 2011 Testa Rossa Stakes final field and barriers.

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2011 Testa Rossa Stakes Field & Barrier Draw

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt. Hcp. Rtg.
1 X1634120X5 FIRST COMMAND Anthony Freedman Dwayne Dunn 4 59kg 107
2 04368X23X4 PHELAN READY Jason McLachlan Brad Rawiller 5 57.5kg 104
3 42113110X9 ZEDI KNIGHT Brendan McCarthy Danny Nikolic 6 57kg 103
4 60X15750X0 DOUBTFUL JACK Peter G Moody Jason Benbow 2 56.5kg 102
5 1X513X01X7 SHRAPNEL Mark Kavanagh Damien Oliver 12 55.5kg 100
6 69336X14X6 ADNOCON Gerald Ryan Craig Newitt 1 55kg 99
7 0765X4975X LA ROCKET Dale Sutton Stephen Baster 3 53kg 94
8 58X110X969 MISS GAI FLYER Peter G Moody Luke Currie 10 53kg 92
9 1411000X13 CHOSEN TO FLY Colin & Cindy Alderson Glen Boss 8 53kg 89
10 72X4221121 IRISH DREAM Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 9 53kg 88
11 1X331X22X SPEEDINESS Colin Scott Craig Williams 11 53kg 88
12 224X42534X AMAETHON Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra Chris Symons 7 53kg 87