The Ajax Stakes 2012 in Sydney this Saturday has been blown wide open after the early favourites all suffered awkwardly wide barrier draws for the Rosehill Guineas Day clash.
Running as Rosehill Race 6 at 3:30pm (NSW time), the $175,000 Group 2 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) has drawn a big final field of 18 runners.
In a blow for favourite backers a number of the top contenders have drawn disastrously in the Ajax Stakes barriers including:
- Pied A Terre (Barrier 13) – Consistent young Ad Valorem colt from Peter Snowden’s stables, winner of the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) two stat back before their second to Green Moon in the open-age Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m), has overcome double digit gates for both so still a chance but is above the minimum with 54.5kg
- Star Of Octagonal (Barrier 14) – Todd Howlett-trained five-year-old was a winner over the track and distance in February before their eye-catching third to He’s Remarkable in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) last run, only time they’ve jumped from double digits from 18 starts to date was to win the Inglis Guineas (from 14) back in May 2010
- Speediness (Barrier 16) – Colin Scott’s Testa Rossa four-year-old won their opening two this time in before a credible fourth in the Blamey, well-weighted getting in on the 53kg minimum but is that enough?
Pakenham-based Scott likes the chances of Speediness this Saturday to run a good race with an eye to other upcoming autumn features including the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 28.
“The field looks to be of similar strength to the Blamey (Stakes),” Scott said of the Ajax.
“We’ve booked Corey Brown and I expect him to go close.
“After Saturday we’ll go to the Group 3 Doncaster Mile Prelude then into the Queen Elizabeth.
“He’s a half-brother to De Fine Lago, who was being aimed at the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups until he went amiss.
“I will be very, very surprised if he doesn’t handle the 2000 metres.”
There are plenty of other genuine hopes in the event with value to be found in the Ajax Stakes betting at bookmaker.com.au this year.
Some of the better drawn big names in the Ajax Stakes field include Gerald Ryan’s resuming Group 3 winner Ironstein (barrier seven), Gai Waterhouse’s Encosta De Lago colt Niagara (barrier 11) and Happy Trails (barrier 10) coming off a third in the Yalumba Golden Mile at Bendigo.
Meanwhile Guy Watler’s two Ajax Stakes hopes have drawn opposite ends of the field with last-start Warwick Farm winner Al Dhafra in the extreme outside gate (18) and Hood, coming off a Listed National Sprint win over 1400m at Canberra, to jump from the inside alley (1).
Check out the full 2012 Ajax Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights in the table below.
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2012 Ajax Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 6 – 3:30pm – 31/03/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4X860X05X4||ALL SILENT||Grahame Begg||Blake Shinn||17||59kg||107|
|2||X609306X50||TRIPLE ELEGANCE||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||6||58kg||105|
|3||561X976X07||GATHERING||John P Thompson||Dwayne Dunn||3||57.5kg||104|
|4||1120X7X490||ROCK CLASSIC||Bart Cummings||Michael Rodd||15||57.5kg||104|
|5||418055451X||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||7||57kg||103|
|6||3321X5660X||ABSOLUTELY||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||12||56kg||105|
|7||215X3294X3||FAST CLIP||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||8||55kg||99|
|8||11X1212||PIED A TERRE||Peter Snowden||Mark Zahra||13||54.5kg||99|
|9||01010X3X70||FIREBOLT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||5||54.5kg||98|
|10||90305X3313||STAR OF OCTAGONAL||Todd Howlett||Robert Thompson||14||53.5kg||96|
|11||1X22X6X114||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Corey Brown||16||53kg||95|
|12||110X442X31||HOOD||Guy Walter||Ms Kathy O’Hara||1||53kg||94|
|13||42X21302X2||NIAGARA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||11||53kg||93|
|14||803144X233||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||–||10||53kg||92|
|15||8X990X9481||AL DHAFRA||Guy Walter||Glen Boss||18||53kg||91|
|16||2630X11138||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||Peter Robl||9||53kg||90|
|17||6X1210X831||KNOT OUT||Paul Messara||Jay Ford||4||53kg||80|
|18||X531111X38||REVOLT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Josh Adams (a)||2||53kg||80|