Kicking off the all-Group-race program at Rosehill Racecourse this Saturday on Golden Slipper Day is the Neville Sellwood Stakes 2013 where Peter Moody’s Group 1 winning mare Lights Of Heaven tops a small field of gallopers.
Due to jump as Race 1 at 11:55am (AEST) the $125,000 Group 3 Cellarbrations Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) has this year drawn a final field of just nine hopefuls with Zabeel mare Lights Of Heaven to carry the 58kg topweight.
Set to be ridden by the stable’s ace hoop Luke Nolen from a nice barrier two draw the now five-year-old, winner of the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks back in 2011, is a multiple Group 1 performer and should be well positioned even with the big weight on Saturday.
Third in last spring’s Caulfield Cup behind star stayers Duanden and Alcopop, Lights Of Heaven has had two runs this time in.
Her first was a shocker when she failed to beat home any of her rivals finishing 10th to All Too Hard in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) in February.
She improved when getting up to the mile for the Group 2 Sunline Stakes at the Valley a month later however finishing second to Spirit Song and should be getting even better when she sees the 2000m in Sydney.
Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller will saddle-up three Neville Sellwood Stakes runners this year with last year’s Randwick Guineas runner-up Said Com (barrier six), European import Lunayir (barrier eight) coming off a good second to Sydney Cup-bound Julienas in the Listed Sky High Stakes over 1900m at Rosehill on March 23, and Lonhro four-year-old Hoylonny (barrier three) who is a Jim Cassidy ride.
Other notable hopefuls meanwhile include Strike The Stars and the Michael Kent-trained Hula Lua out for their third win on the trot following back-to-back victories at Moonee Valley back in February.
The big defector from the Neville Sellwood Stakes from nomination stage meanwhile was Lights Of Heaven’s stablemate Manighar, the triple Group 1 winner to take on the likes of Pierro and Shoot Out instead in the $400,000 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at the same meeting.
“The ideal race would be the Neville Sellwood but he’s get too much weight so I might run him in the Ryder,” Moody said this week.
The official 2013 Neville Sellwood Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights are listed below.
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2013 Neville Sellwood Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 1 – 11:55am (AEST) – 06/04/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1x09330x02||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2||58kg||112|
|2||x13620x448||SAID COM (NZ)||Chris Waller||–||6||54kg||96|
|3||14111×9258||SINGLE||Craig Carmody||Nathan Berry||7||54kg||95|
|4||5371293141||COURT CONNECTION||Danny Williams||Glyn Schofield||5||54kg||94|
|5||219434×812||LUNAYIR (FR)||Chris Waller||–||8||54kg||94|
|6||44x8939x70||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||9||54kg||93|
|7||421112×426||HOYLONNY||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||3||54kg||91|
|8||1x1x1x7x05||WHY NOT (GER)||David Hayes||–||1||54kg||85|
|9||3x5151x311||HULA LUA (NZ)||Michael Kent||–||4||54kg||79|