Aaron Purcell’s surprise Toorak Handicap runner-up Spirit Song is set to relish a step back in class this Saturday as they take on a field of fellow mares in the 2012 Tesio Stakes on Cox Plate Day.
Running as the last at Moonee Valley at 6:00pm (AEST) this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Tesio Stakes (1600m) is registered as the Trojan Hand Tools Stakes and has drawn a diminutive but classy field of nine hopefuls.
Leading the line-up is Invincible Spirit five-year-old Spirit Song in gate four who was last seen running an eye-catching second when defeated less than half a length by Solzhenitsyn in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Dropping back to Group 3 level against their own kind on Saturday sees Spirit Song in a prime position to finally win a race this time in after they have run third in their past three starts, including a close second over the Moonee Valley mile for the Group 2 Stocks Stakes in September.
A genuine miler Spirit Song, who jumps the 59kg topweight on Saturday, has an outstanding record at the track and distance boasting two wins from three attempts including their Group 2 Sunline Stakes victory over Lady Lynette in March this year.
Another major player and Group 2 winner in the Tesio Stakes field is then the Guy Walter-trained Skyerush drawn in gate six with Hugh Bowman riding them on 58.5kg.
The veteran Super Jet seven-year-old won the Emancipation Stakes over the Randwick mile back in April, her autumn-winter campaign finishing on a high when she ran a brave second to Pear Tart in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) in Brisbane.
She has had two runs this time in and was competitive in both firstly finishing best of the rest when second to More Joyous in the Group 3 Golden pendant (1400m) and then her close third in the Listed Angst Stakes (1500m) – Saturday her first Melbourne run of the spring carnival.
The next heaviest weighted mares in the mix are then Shaune Ritchie’s Kiwi raider Zurella (57.5kg) – the New Zealand Oaks runner-up looking to bounce back after her 13th in the Turnbull Stakes, and the John Gunning-trained Hi Belle (57kg).
Another noteworthy contender that has come up trumps with gate two is then the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Star Of Giselle (54.5kg), the consistent Reset mare out for her third win on the trot.
The full 2012 Trojan Hand Tools Stakes field, barriers and jockeys can be found below.
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2012 Tesio (Trojan Hand Tools) Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 9 – 6:00pm (AEST) – 27/10/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11211×5222||SPIRIT SONG||Aaron Purcell||Brad Rawiller||4||59kg||105|
|2||x002182x23||SKYERUSH||Guy Walter||Hugh Bowman||6||58.5kg||104|
|3||115152×170||ZURELLA (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||James McDonald||5||57.5kg||102|
|4||1x4147x200||HI BELLE||John Gunning||Craig Williams||8||57kg||101|
|5||014316×211||STAR OF GISELLE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Kerrin McEvoy||2||54.5kg||96|
|6||11x5077x05||PRETTY PINS (NZ)||John P Thompson||Mark Zahra||9||54kg||85|
|7||64470×8584||SEAN BAILE MOR||Todd Balfour||Brenton Avdulla||7||54kg||76|
|8||x622242516||TRANQUERA||Robbie Griffiths||Michael Rodd||3||54kg||72|
|9||x89106x817||TAVARNELLE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||1||54kg||70|