While it may not have attracted Australia’s sprint queen Black Caviar for the 2013 edition, this year’s Australia Stakes is still shaping up as a beauty with eight quality horses accepted for the Moonee Valley clash this Friday night.
The world’s best mare Black Caviar won the Australia Stakes 12 months ago beating just five rivals but won’t be back to defend her title this year.
Se to run as Moonee Valley Race 6 at 9:15pm (AEST) the $220,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) is one of two black types running on Friday night along with the Listed Canterbury Classic in Sydney.
One horse has been accepted for both sprints with the Peter Snowden-trained Skytrain still to have their assignment confirmed.
The Lonhro seven-year-old was last seen running a gallant third defeated only a long neck by No Looking Back in the Listed Carrington Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on New Year’s Day.
In the Australia Stakes they are drawn in gate six and will carry 58.5kg under the weight-for-age conditions while in the Canterbury BMW Classic they have been allocated barrier four (of nine) and 56.5kg for the handicap clash.
Snowden will still be represented in the 2013 Australia Stakes field regardless of whether Skytrain goes to the Sydney race or not with Pinwheel to wear the No. 1 saddlecloth in the Melbourne feature.
Drawn in gate two with Vlad Duric booked for the ride, Pinwheel is also a seven-year-old son of Lonhro and was racing in excellent form last prep.
During their winter campaign Pinwheel caught the eye in Brisbane with a good four to Mid Summer Music in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) before back-to-back Group wins in Sydney during August.
In their most recent run they finished fourth in another Group 1, this time going down by just a length to the undefeated Perth speedster Barakey, heading across the nation for the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on November 24.
Other top chances in the Australia Stakes 2013 then include the Stephen Brown-trained Street Cry five-year-old Sea Lord on the rails with barrier one who comes off a good second in the X’Mas Stakes on Boxing Day, Mark Kavanagh’s X’Mas Stakes winner Undeniably and smart Dubleo mare Koonoomoo last seen winning the Group 3 Herald Sun Stakes (1400m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The full 2013 Essendon Mazda Australia Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights are detailed in the table below.
Friday night betting markets are set to open at bookmaker.com.au shortly so head along to the 100 percent Aussie owned and operated sportsbook now and sign-up to get ready for the action starting with their exclusive $400 bonus welcome bet offer!
2013 Australia Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 6 – 9:15pm (AEST) – 25/01/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4284x1174x||PINWHEEL||Peter Snowden||Vlad Duric||2||58.5kg||111|
|2||06192468×0||ZEDI KNIGHT||Brendan McCarthy||Jamie Mott||8||58.5kg||99|
|3||311316×610||OUTLANDISH LAD||Dennis O’Leary||Brad Rawiller||4||58.5kg||104|
|5||69×1144172||SEA LORD||Stephen Brown||Luke Currie||1||58.5kg||97|
|6||67x99x8x21||UNDENIABLY||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||5||58.5kg||96|
|7||1013x7221x||KOONOOMOO||Rod Grantley||Steven Arnold||3||56.5kg||95|
|8||11x11190x6||BONNIE MAC (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Dwayne Dunn||7||56.5kg||94|