Star Kiwi Heads Royal Sovereign Stakes 2013 Field

This Saturday’s 2013 Royal Sovereign Stakes field is set to be dominated by a former Kiwi with Group 1 winning colt Sacred Falls engaged to make their down under debut for new trainer Chris Waller, another New Zealand expat, in the Rosehill Gardens’ feature.

Rebel Dane

Rebel Dane is one of two undefeated colts in the 2013 Royal Sovereign Stakes field this weekend. Photo: Steve Hart

Running as Rosehill Race 5 at 3:30pm (AEST) this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) has drawn a final field of nine three-year-old colts and geldings, the top fancy of which is sure to be the former Cambridge-based O’Reilly colt Sacred Falls.

Previously prepared by Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue in New Zealand the undefeated youngster has saluted in all six of their starts back home, the most recent of which was their maiden elite level title in the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) in November.

Having been in Waller’s care since the start of the year Sacred Falls will now race for the first time on Aussie soil in the Royal Sovereign Stakes on the back of a fourth to Doncaster Mile champ More Joyous in a Randwick trial over 1050m on the first of Feb.

Drawn in gate eight with Kiwi jockey Leith Innes in the saddle Waller is confident Sacred Falls will handle the step up to Aussie racing with a familiar hoop aboard.

“Leith knows the horse well so it will be good to have him there,” Waller said of the former New Zealand Premiership winning jockey.

“He is a tricky horse. He can get back but he has a great finish.

“I’d like to see him get out of the barriers smartly and not give away too much of a start to these horses.”

There is not one but two undefeated three-year-olds in the Royal Sovereign mix on Saturday with Gary Portelli also accepting for Rebel Dane.

Racing for the first time since October the California Dane colt has won all three of their starts to date including back-to-back Rosehill wins.

They have also been working the house down in their two summer barrier trials leading up to their weekend return winning both their Warwick Farm hitouts over 800m and then 1200m respectively and are primed for their resuming run after a wet track saw them scratched from a race here last week.

Another other top-rated Royal Sovereign Stakes starter this year is then Peter Snowden’s Elusive Quality colt Rusambo who has drawn barrier four with Christian Reith to ride.

Reith replaces Kerrin McEvoy who rode Rusambo, a black type winner at Moonee Valley last August, for their credible first-up second to Happy Galaxy in the Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Australia Day – an effort Snowden hopes they can improve on.

Other notable chances include the John O’Shea-trained More Than Ready colt Ashokan who was last seen running a distant sixth beaten 14 lengths by last weekend’s CF Orr Stakes winner All Too Hard in the Caulfield Guineas last October, the David Payne-trained Spring Champion Stakes third place-getter Honorius with the far outside gate to overcome, and John Thompson’s exciting up-and-comer Casino Swoop.

The full 2013 Royal Sovereign Stakes field, barriers, jockeys are weights are detailed in the table below.

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2013 Royal Sovereign Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw

Rosehill Race 5 – 3:30pm (AEST) – 16/02/2013

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
1 11x1111x SACRED FALLS (NZ) Chris Waller Leith Innes 8 56kg
2 259x5113x2 RUSAMBO Peter Snowden Christian Reith 4 56kg
3 2106x6346x ASHOKAN John O’Shea James McDonald 7 56kg
4 711x32328x HONORIUS David Payne Glyn Schofield 9 56kg
5 111x REBEL DANE Gary Portelli Jason Collett 6 56kg
6 3x218x25 TAXMEIFYOUCAN Gregory Hickman Peter Robl 1 56kg
7 8x125x URQUIDEZ Jarrod Austin Nathan Berry 3 56kg
8 212x CASINO SWOOP John P Thompson Corey Brown 5 56kg
9 13 ADABOY ROSS Con Karakatsanis Jay Ford 2 56kg