Rough Habit Plate winner Hawkspur will get a chance to claim another 2013 Queensland Derby lead-up race when he starts from barrier three in Saturday’s Group 3 2013 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).
The Chris Waller-trained gelding was a three-length winner in the Rough Habit Plate, showing a clear appreciation for the staying trip and a heavy track.
He is unlikely to get a heavy track this weekend so will have to be at the top of his game in order to overcome a number of other quality three-year-olds heading towards the Derby.
The Sydney colt is joined by a host of other southern and New Zealand raiders in the field, with only a sprinkling of local hopes lining up.
High quality New Zealand trainer Murray Baker has accepted with both Usainity and Ambitious Champion.
Usainity won the Frank Packer Plate last month and is coming off a third-place finish in the Rough Habit Plate while Ambitious Champion is making his Australian debut.
Ambitious Champion takes strong form from New Zealand to Queensland, having won his past two starts.
Backing up a week after her Doomben Roses win is Group 1-winning filly Dear Demi who will again have to overcome a wide barrier, drawing 17.
The Clarry Conners-trained galloper is set to race three times in three weeks, with the Group 1 Queensland Oaks set to take place on Saturday week at Eagle Farm.
Also in good form is Michael Moroney-trained gelding Rhythm To Spare who steps up in class after winning his past two starts at Bendigo and Sandown-Hillside.
Other key Grand Prix Stakes runners include Gai Waterhouse-trained colt Hippopus and Paul Messara’s Rowie.
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Grand Prix Stakes 2013 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||2328×80042||HONORIUS||David Payne||Michael Rodd||16||57kg||85|
|2||42111×5261||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||3||57kg||93|
|3||1452112510||HIPPOPUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Chris Munce||14||57kg||85|
|4||21311213||USAINITY (NZ)||Murray Baker||Hugh Bowman||13||57kg||92|
|5||4612×77684||ROWIE||Paul Messara||Jim Byrne||7||57kg||74|
|6||27144×1198||AROUSING SUSPICION||Paul Rocke||–||10||57kg||73|
|7||47813×25||LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY||Steve Englebrecht||Grant Cooksley||5||57kg||72|
|8||22×11||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Glen Boss||6||57kg||69|
|9||32216×4039||HEATER||John P Thompson||Michael Cahill||12||57kg||65|
|10||2221370×38||EXCELLENT AL||Len Treloar||Eddie Wilkinson||19||57kg||67|
|11||3274×52210||NEW SPUR||John P Thompson||–||9||57kg||64|
|12||222211||AMBITIOUS CHAMPION (NZ)||Murray Baker||Opie Bosson||15||57kg||69|
|13||44×216||TONOPAH (USA)||Craig Ritchie||Damian Browne||1||57kg||64|
|14||241×310521||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Luke Nolen||17||55kg||105|
|15||11039×6200||OFFENSE||John P Thompson||–||20||55kg||64|
|16||0x24212486||FIESTY BELLE||John P Thompson||–||18||55kg||65|
|17e||320×31||ALI VITAL (NZ)||Michael Moroney||–||21||57kg||64|
|18e||924×31||PARAGGI (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||Tim Clark||2||57kg||63|
|19e||14207||SMILES FOR LAYLA (NZ)||John P Thompson||Ryan Wiggins||11||55kg||65|
|20e||7164||SWEET AS BRO (NZ)||Leon Corstens||–||8||57kg||63|
|21e||06||POET’S FORTUNE||Anthony Cummings||–||4||57kg||–|