Boxing Day Racing 2011 – Morphettville Christmas Handicap 2011 Field & Preview

The Boxing Day Races around Australia provide punters and racing fans with plenty of post-Christmas entertainment, one of the black type highlights being the 2011 Christmas Handicap at Adelaide’s Morphettville Racecourse.

Scheduled to run as Morphettville Race 7 at 4:17pm (local time) on Monday, the $80,000 Listed Christmas Handicap (1400m) has this year drawn a final field of 12 hopefuls.

Three horses have been installed as the 57kg equal top-weights of the field with Outlandish Lad, Shekinaar and The Eighth Maker.

Twelve months ago Dennis O’Leary’s Fantastic Light grey Outlandish Lad finished second in the Christmas Handicap behind the Stuart Gower-trained Blahnik, and they return for a second shot at the Boxing Day feature this year.

Drawn well in barrier five with Jason Holder engaged for the ride, with 57kg Outlandish Lad carries two kilos more than they did last year but they come into the race on the back of a close second beaten just a quarter length in the Listed City Of Marion Stakes (1200m) on December 10.

The David Jolly-trained Shekinaar has also come up trumps with a nice gate for the Christmas Handicap on Monday, the six-year-old Foxhound mare to jump from barrier three as she looks to improve on her sixth in the Marion Stakes and return to the winner’s stall for the second time this season.

Meanwhile, City Of Marion Stakes winner The Eighth Maker is likely to start at the top of the 2011 Christmas Handicap odds when markets open at Luxbet.

Due to jump from barrier nine with Shayne Cahill aboard, the Clangalang six-year-old has won four of their five starts this season, including their last three on the trot.

They rise considerably from 54.5kg for the Marion Stakes to 57kg on Monday, but having proved themselves time and time again connections are confident that they can overcome the weight.

There are two other last-start winner engaged in the Christmas Handicap this year with another Jolly-trained hopeful Zizz out wide in barrier 11 and Windarra Place who is set to have the inside run from barrier one.

Hurricane Sky gelding Zizz is also the only other hopeful allocated more than the 54.5kg minimum,  the six-year-old to cart 56kg as they back up from a smart two length win over 1400 metres at Morphttville Parks back on December 3.

Windarra Place, prepared by Terry and Karina O’Sullivan, was impressive with 58kg last start when finishing strongly to win over 1400 metres on November 5.

Other notable Christmas Handicap contenders include the Richard Jolly-trained Barwon Express (barrier four) who ran second to The Eight Maker last-start in the Grand Chifley Hotel Handicap on November 26, Mark Kavanagh’s Easy Rocking five-year-old Bagman (barrier eight), the Mick Price-trained Victorian mare Tariana (barrier seven) and Gary Searle’s consistent galloper Mornin’ Sam looking for their fourth win from five starts this prep.

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2011 Christmas Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw

Morphettville Race 7 – 26/12/2011

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp. Rating
1 4253X81502 OUTLANDISH LAD Dennis O’Leary Jason Holder 5 57kg 96
2 448X454X16 SHEKINAAR David Jolly Justin Potter 3 57kg 101
3 9137X13111 THE EIGHTH MAKER Lloyd Kennewell Shayne Cahill 9 57kg 96
4 211X537231 ZIZZ David Jolly Matthew Neilson 11 56kg 94
5 519436X701 WINDARRA PLACE Terry & Karina O’Sullivan Ms Holly McKechnie 1 54.5kg 92
6 0858X49342 BARWON EXPRESS Richard Jolly Todd Pannell 4 54.5kg 86
7 23X3183X25 BLACKBRIAR Melinda Boothby Nathan Rose (a) 2 54.5kg 86
8 20X013106X BLUE MAGGICH (NZ) John Hyam Troy Baker 12 54.5kg 85
9 X11111X602 BAGMAN Mark Kavanagh Simon Price 8 54.5kg 84
10 511X1113 MORNIN’ SAM Gary Searle Adrian Patterson 6 54.5kg 83
11 22550X3227 ALWAYS DISCREET Michael Hickmott Ms Libby Hopwood 10 54.5kg 79
12 1X150X1362 TARIANA Mick Price Ms Clare Lindop 7 54.5kg 76