It may not be a full field but the Group 2 2012 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday is set to be an exciting affair.
Included in the 11-horse field are three Group 1 winners as well as a number of others who will compete for Group 1 honours this spring.
Leading trainer Peter Moody has accepted with both King’s Rose and Mid Summer Music to make their first starts of the spring this weekend.
King’s Rose, a five-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare, is a Group 1 winner in New Zealand and has placed in the top grade on multiple occasions in Australia.
In the autumn King’s Rose placed in both the Coolmore Classic and the Queen Of The Turf Stakes before failing to make an impact in her overseas trip to Hong Kong for the Champions Mile.
Mid Summer Music, who finished third in the Patinack Farm Classic to Black Caviar last year, scored the first Group 1 victory of her career when a surprise winner of the Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane during the winter.
But the pair will have to come out of the gates flying with some Gilgai Stakes contenders already in good form.
The highly-rated Bel Sprinter showed he would be a top-level competitor this spring when starting his spring with a classy win in the McEwen Stakes.
Queensland sprinter Spirit Of Boom is third-up after two strong hitouts, finishing second in the Bobbie Lewis Quality first-up before heading to Sydney where he ran fourth to Pampelonne in the Shorts.
Of the 11-horse field, the only other horse who will not be making the first start of their campaign is dual Group 1 winner Atomic Force who has so far failed to show his best form this spring.
Other horses included in the Gilgai Stakes field are Gai Waterhouse’s Hallowell Belle, the Darley-owned Galah and Queensland sprinter Excellantes.
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Gilgai Stakes 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||364112×466||ATOMIC FORCE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||11||57kg||107|
|2||11x2546x24||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Walker||8||57kg||103|
|3||1113x9903x||GALAH||Peter Snowden||Glen Boss||9||57kg||89|
|4||112x1649x1||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Ben Melham||1||56kg||106|
|5||1341x1776x||LIVEANDLETDIE||Mark Kavanagh||Damien Oliver||3||55.5kg||95|
|6||63x722919x||MID SUMMER MUSIC||Peter G Moody||Brad Rawiller||10||55kg||110|
|7||1272x8330x||KING’S ROSE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2||55kg||112|
|8||702x23700x||SISTINE ANGEL||Andrew Noblet||Craig Williams||4||55kg||100|
|9||469x41152x||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||James Winks||7||55kg||97|
|10||84x801900x||METALLURGICAL||John P Thompson||Mark Zahra||6||55kg||95|
|11||24x331333x||HALLOWELL BELLE||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||5||53.5kg||103|