While Robert Smerdon’s stable superstar Mosheen may be the mare punters turn out to see at Flemington on Saturday, two other Group 1 winning females will also be on show when Yosei and Miss Artistic face off in the 2012 Let’s Elope Sakes.
Four time Group 1 hero Mosheen kicks off her Cox Plate 2012 campaign in the $150,000 Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) on the weekend, but a little earlier in the day there is also plenty of other talented mares on show in Flemington Race 4 – the $220,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m).
Topping the field of 12 acceptors is Stuart Webb’s triple Group 1 winner Yosei who will carry the 58.5kg topweight under the set weights plus penalties conditions.
Drawn in gate five the Invincible Spirit five-year-old runs second-up for the season after failing to handle the Heavy (10) track at Caulfield on August 18 when finishing 10th to Lady Melksham in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m).
Yosei will again be ridden by her regular jockey Michelle Payne on Saturday, Payne having partnered with the horse for all three of her Group 1 victories.
The other elite level winner in the Let’s Elope Stakes field for 2012 is thenNew Zealandraider Miss Artisitc.
The Shaune Ritchie-trained Darci Brahma four-year-old won the NZ Oaks last March before heading over toQueensland to chase the winter riches.
She started three times in the sunshine state, her best result being a second to Invest in the Group 3 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben, but she couldn’t match them in the Queensland Oaks when 10th to Quintessential.
On Saturday Miss Artistic could be upstaged by her stablemate Zurella who will also represent the Cambridge-based Ritchie in the Let’s Elope.
Runner-up to Miss Artistic in the NZ Oaks last time out on March 17, the daughter of Zabeel is heading towards the spring cups starting with the $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20, for which she is currently an $81 roughie in the bookmaker.com.au markets to win.
In the Let’s Elope Zurella will jump from the ideal barrier four draw with Craig Newitt in the saddle while Miss Artistic will be ridden by Damien Oliver for the first time from gate nine.
The other big name entry in the Let’s Elope Stakes for 2012 is then flying local mare Lady Melksham who has won four of her five career starts to date.
The John Sadler-trained Artie Schiller four-year-old is after her second black type win on the trot having gotten the better of a similar field first-up in the Cockram Stakes, and jockey Glen Boss is confident she will be even more impressive when she gets a firmer track on the weekend.
Other notable hopefuls include consistent stakes performing Clangalang six-year-old Hi Belle to be ridden by Craig Williams from barrier three, the lightly-raced Oasis Bloom on the rails as she has just her fourth career start, Mornington mare Biancon Rose and the Peter Moody-trained Total Attraction in gate two who has won her only other start at Flemington.
The complete 2012 Let’s Elope Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights are detailed in the table below.
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2012 Let’s Elope Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 4 – 2:15pm – 08/09/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||79x05483x0||YOSEI||Stuart Webb Ms||Michelle Payne||5||58.5kg||109|
|2||443511420x||MISS ARTISTIC (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Damien Oliver||9||57.5kg||97|
|3||1121x4147x||HI BELLE||John Gunning||Craig Williams||3||56.5kg||102|
|4||1113×1||LADY MELKSHAM||John Sadler||Glen Boss||12||56.5kg||92|
|5||177x0500x6||KNEELING||John P Thompson||Aaron Spiteri||10||55.5kg||78|
|6||21×7||OASIS BLOOM||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||James Winks||1||55.5kg||70|
|7||620x3634x8||BOOKLET||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Dwayne Dunn||6||55kg||91|
|8||21115152x||ZURELLA (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Craig Newitt||4||55kg||95|
|9||19x5929x32||BIANCON ROSE||David Brideoake & David Feek||Chris Symons||11||54kg||87|
|10||11142×23||TOTAL ATTRACTION||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2||54kg||82|
|11||3423339115||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Michael Walker||8||54kg||76|
|12||4x24081x84||TWILIGHTING||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Michael Rodd||7||54kg||76|