This Saturday, January 7, racing returns to Caulfield Racecourse with the day’s action headlined by the $100,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1200m).
Scheduled to run as Caulfield Race 5 at 3:30pm (VIC time), the Robert Taranto Doveton Stakes field has this year attracted eight gallopers led by the Anthony Freedman-trained First Command.
To wear the No. 1 saddlecloth, First Command will also jump from barrier one as the Group 2 winning and Group 1 placed Commands gelding looks to successfully defend their title in the black-type sprint.
Twelve months ago First Command scored their ninth career victory when taking out the then-named L.T. Cleary Stakes before travelling to Trentham in New Zealand to run second to Mufhasa in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m).
First Command returned to Australia but injured themselves when running dead last in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February.
After a six and a half month break, they resumed in the spring and were last seen finishing five lengths away seventh to Temple Of Boom in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 2.
They will carry the same 59kg weight they did to victory last year, but will be ridden by Jamie Mott for the first time.
All seven of First Command’s Doveton Stakes rivals on Saturday meet the defending champ five kilos better in the weights having been allocated 54kg.
Two other runners race first-up in the feature with Morphettville visitor the Group winning Stirling Grove and the Heath Conners-trained local Chasm, the duo drawn in barriers four and six respectively.
Other notable rivals include Robbie Griffith’s in-form Bel Esprit six-year-old Cascabel coming off three straight seconds most recent to Catapulted in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington last Monday, Mark Kavanagh’s last-start Caulfield winner Cat’s Pyjamas and the Clinton McDonald-trained Mossman gelding Second Effort.
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2011 Doveton Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 5 – 07/01/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||34120X527X||FIRST COMMAND||Anthony Freedman||Jamie Mott||1||59kg||105|
|2||1610X5382X||STIRLING GROVE||Richard Jolly||Dean Yendall||4||54kg||95|
|3||24X2479222||CASCABEL||Robbie Griffiths||Craig Newitt||5||54kg||94|
|4||8X4008076X||CHASM||Brendan McCarthy||Chris Symons||6||54kg||94|
|5||27311117X5||SECOND EFFORT||Clinton McDonald||Danny Nikolic||2||54kg||94|
|6||633X113X81||CAT’S PYJAMAS||Mark Kavanagh||Stephen Baster||7||54kg||90|
|7||X1X6X46415||GALBRAITH||Peter Healey||Ms Michelle Payne||3||54kg||90|
|8||82149X7837||FROM THE TERRACE||Matt Laurie||–||8||54kg||84|