Strong 2012 Spring Stakes Field

In what is the first black-type race of the new season in Adelaide, a strong field will turn out for the Group 3 $115,000 2012 Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphetville on Saturday.

Southern Speed

Southern Speed returns in Saturday's Spring Stakes at Morphetville

All eyes will be on 2011 Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed who will use the race as the first stop on the road to a defence of the prestigious spring feature.

The Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained mare will be ridden by Claire Lindop in her return race when she comes from barrier two.

The race will be used for a number of horses making their return from winter spells, with six of the 10-horse field set to be running first-up.

Running for the first time since last October is multuple black-type winner Alcopop who trialled alongside fellow starter Happy Trails on Monday.

Alcopop will come from barrier eight in his first run since a spring campaign that saw him win the Listed Penny Edition Stakes and run second in the Group 2 Dato’ Chin Nam Stakes.

Despite a resume with  just two wins from 23 starts, five-year-old Happy Trails has produced a number of performances that suggest a big victory is not too far away.

The Paul Beshara-trained gelding finished fourth in both the Group 2 Ajax Stakes and Group 3 Doncaster Prelude in the autumn before running respectably when 1 1/12 lengths behind winner More Joyous in the Doncaster Mile.

Stepping up to black-type racing for the first time is in-form mare Light Express who has been in dominant form in lower level races recently.

The Fastnet Rock five-year-old has won her last three starts with her smallest winning margin 1 1/2 lengths.

Also chasing a fourth consecutive victory is local gelding The Eighth Maker who is returning from a spell.

The seven-year-old was in sensational form over the summer which culminated with victory in the Listed City of Marion Stakes in December.

Also named in the final field for the Adelaide sprint are Victorian mare Gossip Girl and last-start winner Drifting Spirit.

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Spring Stakes 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 x910x5129x ALCOPOP Jake Stephens Dom Tourneur 8 58.5kg 105
2 00x684172x DIPLOMATIC FORCE Wayne Nichols Craig Robertson 9 58.5kg 98
3 44x233446x HAPPY TRAILS Paul Beshara Jason Holder 10 58.5kg 96
4 137x13111x THE EIGHTH MAKER Lloyd Kennewell Paul Gatt 5 58.5kg 96
5 36127×3114 JUSTIFY THAT Peter Moody Ms Libby Hopwood 3 58.5kg 95
6 161052620x CANDLE Tony McEvoy Matthew Neilson 4 58.5kg 94
7 9x221117x5 BERTUCCI Lloyd Kennewell Chad Lever 6 58.5kg 87
8 723x40x941 DRIFTING SPIRIT Darren Egan Ms Melanie Tyndall (a) 11 58.5kg 59
9 14x125255x SOUTHERN SPEED Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas Ms Clare Lindop 2 56.5kg 112
10 12104×5125 GOSSIP GIRL Jim Mason Daniel Moor 7 56.5kg 92
11 366317×111 LIGHT EXPRESS Michael Hibbs Darren Gauci 1 56.5kg 85