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.
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|