Classy Emancipation Stakes 2013 Field Released

A classy line-up of 12 fillies and mares has been accepted for the 2013 Emancipation Stakes which is due to run alongside three Group 1 races at Randwick Racecourse for Sydney Cup Day this Saturday.

Skyerush

Last year's Emancipation Stakes winner Skyerush is back to defend her title this Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart.

Due to jump at 1:40pm (AEST) as Randwick Race 3, this year’s $175,000 Group 2 M.J. Bale Emancipation Stakes (1600m) is shaping up as a top showdown with a number of stakes winners in the mix including the Guy Walter-trained Skyerush.

Coming up trumps with barrier two with regular jockey Blake Shinn to ride the veteran Super Jet seven-year-old has won two from three this time in with victories in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m0 and most recently the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1600m).

Twelve months ago Skyerush took out the Emancipation Stakes, continuing on to Brisbane for a brave second to Pear Tart in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) in June, carrying 55.5kg.

She has been allocated 56.5kg this year which is still a nice drop back from the hefty 58kg she carried to victory in an open field for the Doncaster Prelude on April 13.

Walter will also be represented in the Emancipation Stakes field this year by Cannery Row in gate seven with Craig Williams in the saddle, the Canny Lad mare coming off some good autumn form including a win over the Randwick mile two back.

There are two other last-start winners in the Emancipation on Saturday along with Skyerush with Peter Moody’s Plucky Belle and the Ken Kelso-trained Xanadu.

Drawn on the rails with barrier one Mossman four-year-old Plucky Belle races in Group company for the first time since her fourth on debut at Flemington back in March of 2011, earning her shot after a nice win over 1400m at Caulfield last month.

Plucky Belle overcame barrier 12 of 12 in that run so will appreciate her inside gate for this and also gets in on the 54kg minimum.

Xanadu meanwhile is the 57.5kg second top-weight in the Emancipation Stakes, Hugh Bowman’s mount to jump from gate four.

The Elusive City four-year-old is prepared in New Zealand by Kelso and makes their Australian debut this weekend on the back of a good Group 1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes victory over the 1600m at Te Aroha on April 6.

They certainly have impressive form back home having matched it with the best of the best in NZ including their close second to subsequent Cox Plate winner Ocean Park in last September’s Group 1 Challenge Stakes and their third to 10-time Group 1 champion King Mufhasa in the Windsor Park Plate that campaign.

Heading the Emancipation Stakes weights is then the Chris Waller-trained Say No More with 58.5kg in gate 10 with Jim Cassidy booked for the ride.

A Kiwi expat the Pentire five-year-old is a dual Group 1 winner in New Zealand, most recently in the 2012 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes, but has failed at their two Australian runs so having last run seventh in the Group 3 Sebring Stakes on Golden Slipper Day.

Other notable hopes then include the Peter Snowden-trained duo of Raspberries and Shannara drawn in gates nine and eight respectively, and the John Sargent-trained Cathay Lady in gate three.

See below for the complete 2013 M.J. Bale Emancipation Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights.

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2013 Emancipation Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw

Royal Randwick Race 3 – 1:40pm (AEST) – 27/04/2013

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt. Hcp. Rating
1 211151x5x7 SAY NO MORE (NZ) Chris Waller Jim Cassidy 10 58.5kg 101
2 x3234x2271 XANADU (NZ) Ken Kelso Hugh Bowman 4 57.5kg 105
3 x23442x101 SKYERUSH Guy Walter Blake Shinn 2 56.5kg 110
4 1x4063x544 RASPBERRIES Peter Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 9 56.5kg 102
5 42x9909x70 SHANNARA Peter Snowden Christian Reith 8 56kg 97
6 60x426360x FLORIA (NZ) Peter G Moody Steven Arnold 11 56kg 95
7 3321111×49 CATHAY LADY John Sargent Peter Robl 3 55.5kg 89
8 211x6130x0 SCORPIO QUEEN Chris Waller Michael Rodd 6 55.5kg 84
9 7275631279 SHAMARDANI Gregory Hickman Brenton Avdulla 12 54kg 82
10 x95133x641 PLUCKY BELLE Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 1 54kg 78
11 10×6655413 CANNERY ROW Guy Walter Craig Williams 7 54kg 76
12 522x311x25 BUGABOO (ARG) Grahame Begg Tommy Berry 5 54kg 71