A quality 13-horse field has been announced to contest the Group 2 2012 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Last year’s winner Pinwheel returns to try and go back-to-back but will have to overcome an early challenge after drawing wide in barrier 13.
The Darley-owned gelding was at his best first-up earlier this month when winning the Group 3 Missile Stakes by two lengths.
But the seven-year-old sprinter will have to beat a number of quality rivals including a number of Group 1 performers having their first spring starts.
Last year’s Epsom winner Secret Admirer will be chasing her first win since her breakthrough Group 1 win in October and will do so from barrier six with Corey Brown in the saddle.
The Grahame Begg-trained mare was unable to score victory in the autumn but finished runner-up in the Coolmore Classic and third to More Joyous and Manighar in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Also returning ahead of far bigger things this spring is cups hopeful Lights Of Heaven who finally produced her best at the Brisbane Carnival over the winter.
After a frustrating spring where she was unable to cross the line in front, the Zabeel mare ran second in the Group 1 Doomben Cup and won both the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup and Brisbane Cup.
Other high profile horses returning in the Warwick Stakes include Metropolitan third placegetter Lamasery and Australian Derby runner-up Polish Knight.
One horse that doesn’t have the status of his rivals is Startsmeup but the Queensland gelding may have a fitness advantage.
While many will kick off their campaign on Saturday the Gillian Heinrich-trained sprinter is well into his preparation and will be chasing a third consecutive victory.
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Warwick Stakes 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||688x63200x||DANLEIGH||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||5||59kg||110|
|2||030x4284x1||PINWHEEL||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||11||59kg||109|
|3||x2500706x2||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||Glyn Schofield||10||59kg||104|
|4||46x411314x||LAMASERY||David Vandyke||Jay Ford||12||59kg||104|
|5||309x49x931||BOLD GLANCE||Norm Hilton||Chris Munce||1||59kg||101|
|6||55250×1311||STARTSMEUP||Gillian Heinrich||Blake Shinn||3||59kg||97|
|7||7x3142317x||MAULES CREEK||John P Thompson||–||8||59kg||96|
|8||1835x363x7||TAGUS||John P Thompson||–||9||59kg||94|
|9||22112750×3||ROLLING PIN (NZ)||Gwenda Markwell||Peter Robl||7||59kg||92|
|10||612912x||POLISH KNIGHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||4||58.5kg||101|
|11||221x51328x||ROCK ’N’ POP||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||13||58.5kg||98|
|12||930x72211x||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Joshua Parr||2||57kg||112|
|13||53x352383x||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||Corey Brown||6||57kg||112|