Gai Waterhouse’s long-shot Sydney Cup hope Once Were Wild will race against a full field of fellow stayers in the Epona Stakes 2012 this Saturday, the race one of the seven Group events highlighting the Rosehill Guineas Day action.
Set to run as Rosehill Race 5 at 2:50pm, the $125,000 Group 3 De Bortoli Wines Epona Stakes (1900m) has drawn a final field of 14 starters plus one emergency runner this year.
The highest-rated of the hopefuls is Waterhouse’s Johannesburg mare, former AJC Oaks winner Once Were Wild.
It has been nearly a year since Once Were Wild enjoyed a turf triumph, the five-year-old last seen finishing a distant first-up seventh to Steps In Time in the Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm, and she will appreciate going up to the 1900m on Saturday.
Once Were Wild drew gate three in the Epona Stakes barrier draw, other mares drawing in the first half of the field including defending Epona Stakes winner Galizani (4) and the Chris Waller-trained Vintedge (7) looking to improve on her third in the race 12 months ago.
A number of the top players for Saturday’s Epona Stakes come off a run in the Listed Aspiration Quality (1600m), including the winner Fibrillation and fourth placed Crafty Irna.
Last year Galizani came off an Aspiration fourth to take out the Epona Stakes title, but this year the Galileo five-year-old could only manage to run seventh.
On Saturday Tim Martin’s grey Diatribe mare Fibrillation will jump from barrier 10 with Brenton Avdulla to ride while the Ron Quinton-trained Crafty Irna will start one on their outside from gate 11 with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Starcraft four-year-old Crafty Irna is three runs into her 2012 campaign having also run a good second to Red Tracer in the wet at Rosehill in the Group 3 Mille Fox Stakes (1300m) at the start of the month.
The complete 2012 Epona Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights can be found below.
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2012 Epona Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 5 – 2:50pm – 31/03/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||40919X80X7||ONCE WERE WILD||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||3||58.5kg||108|
|2||310X008X00||MIRJULISA LASS||Gregory Hickman||Damien Oliver||5||58.5kg||98|
|3||X05321X758||VINTEDGE||Chris Waller||Dwayne Dunn||7||57.5kg||99|
|4||007810X840||GALIZANI||John P Thompson||Jim Cassidy||4||57kg||98|
|5||17X5620X24||CRAFTY IRNA||Ron Quinton||Hugh Bowman||11||57kg||94|
|6||651X8909X0||MIRRASALO||Paul Messara||Christian Reith||8||57kg||89|
|7||9151321271||FILL THE PAGE||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||Tommy Berry||9||56.5kg||98|
|8||419X3579X1||FIBRILLATION||Tim Martin||Brenton Avdulla||10||56.5kg||95|
|9||6X10304040||SHARP PRINCESS (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Michael Rodd||1||56.5kg||93|
|10||265611X627||FOXSTAR||Guy Walter||Corey Brown||12||56kg||94|
|11||9970216149||TIGRESS LILY||John O’Shea||Blake Shinn||6||55kg||79|
|12||111732X327||BRIGHTEST||Guy Walter||Rod Quinn||14||55kg||77|
|13||3X4113X825||DANCING ATTENDANCE||Guy Walter||Nathan Berry||13||55kg||71|
|14||6X852311||ALL IN LATIN||Grant Allard||Ms Kathy O’Hara||15||55kg||65|
|15e||X990858135||SNAKE DANCER||Keith Horobin||Ms Robyn Freeman-Key||2||55kg||63|