Peter Moody’s former Group 1 winner Lights Of Heaven will look to return to her former glory when she leads out a smart field of mares in Friday night’s Sunline Stakes 2013 under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
One of the final Group race meetings of the Melbourne Festival of Racing, Friday evening’s program is headlined by Black Caviar racing in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
However earlier in the night punters will also be able to get behind some other nice mares in Race 6 at 8:20pm (AEST) – the $220,000 Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m).
This year’s edition has drawn a final field of 13 hopefuls with Moody’s 2011 Schweppes Oaks winner Lights Of Heaven to wear the No. 1 saddlecloth from barrier seven with the stable’s ace jockey Luke Nolen aboard.
Winner of the Eagle Farm Cup – Brisbane Cup double last winter, Lights Of Heaven had a hit and miss spring campaign running an excellent third to Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup before failing her distance test when 16th in the Melbourne Cup.
She returned to racing at Caulfield on February 23 but finished dead last behind crack colt All Too Hard in the Futurity Stakes (1400m), an effort Moody hopes she can improve on when getting up to the mile second-up on Friday.
Moody will also be represented in the Sunline Stakes field this year by There’s Only One drawn nicely in barrier four.
The Testa Rossa five-year-old enjoyed a first-up win at Caulfield last month in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) before running sixth, but beaten only one and a half lengths, in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 2.
With good form over 1600m – 2000m the mile will suit better third-up and from the gate they are in with every chance.
There are three last-start winners in the Sunline mix on Friday too with Pat Hyland’s Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy winner over the Flemington mile Bonaria, Roccin Jo who won at this track and distance at the start of the month and Zabeel four-year-old Tavarnelle who will jump from gate three with Glen Boss in the saddle as they come off a first-up victory in the Frances Tressady Stakes.
Other mares coming off some good recent runs then include the Aaron Purcell-trained Schweppervescence Trophy runner-up Spirit Song, third placed in that race Hi Belle, recent Mannerism Stakes winner Star Of Giselle and Secret Liaison.
See below for the official Sunline Stakes 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2013 Sunline Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 6 – 8:20pm (AEST) – 22/03/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11x09330x0||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7||57kg||110|
|2||x522230x62||SPIRIT SONG||Aaron Purcell||Craig Williams||6||57kg||105|
|3||6x21118x12||STAR OF GISELLE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||–||10||57kg||102|
|4||7x20054x33||HI BELLE||John Gunning||Vlad Duric||8||57kg||101|
|5||0905112112||SECRET LIAISON||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||11||57kg||94|
|6||84x2113x16||THERE’S ONLY ONE||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||4||57kg||99|
|7||115420×791||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Dwayne Dunn||12||57kg||100|
|8||1306×75726||GAIL||Robbie Griffiths||Chad Schofield (a)||2||57kg||88|
|9||7442614321||ROCCIN JO||Dennis O’Leary||Damien Thornton (a)||9||57kg||83|
|10||32127159×5||FILL THE PAGE||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||Steven Arnold||1||57kg||92|
|11||06x81729x1||TAVARNELLE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Glen Boss||3||57kg||95|
|12||031×586148||GOLDSLICK||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||5||57kg||85|
|13||36×2414312||FAMILY CREST (NZ)||Robbie Griffiths||Ryan Maloney||13||57kg||86|