It may not be the top tier sprint on the Doomben 10,000 day card this Saturday but the Listed 2013 Chief De Beers Handicap (1110m) features plenty of quality.
Included in the field is defending champion Excellantes who is at full fitness for the third-up test.
The son of Falvelon is coming off a runner-up finish in the BRC Dash where he was narrowly beaten by fellow Chief De Beers contender Benny’s Buttons.
It was a big first-up win for Benny’s Buttons who spent nearly two years on the sidelines with injury.
The five-year-old gelding is one of two Kelso Wood-trained horses in the field, joined by recent stable addition Spirit Song.
Spirit Song has been transferred to Wood from Mornington trainer Aaron Purcell for a tilt at the winter carnival.
The five-year-old mare has been allocated the topweight of 59.5kg for her Queensland debut. Spirit Song is a triple stakes winner and in March beat Lights Of Heaven to claim the Group 2 Sunline Stakes.
Leading Victorian trainer, a regular visitor to his home state of Queensland, has accepted with front-running mare Karuta Queen.
The speedy four-year-old returned to form in the Listed Silk Stocking earlier this month with a runner-up finish behind Detours.
Leading Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote always has plenty of runners at the winter carnival and has Gundy Son and Griffon stepping out alongside Excellantes.
Others in the Chief De Beers Handicap field include Desleigh Forster’s talented four-year-old I’m Cool, quality country New South Wales galloper Pentasia and the Bryan Dais-trained Latin News.
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Chief De Beers Handicap 2013 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||22230×6218||SPIRIT SONG||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||19||59.5kg||107|
|2||2x74350x62||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||Michael Rodd||7||56.5kg||97|
|3||136x13417x||AUDACIOUS SPIRIT||Gillian Heinrich||Jim Cassidy||8||56kg||96|
|4||x6826214x5||GUNDY SON||Robert Heathcote||Ryan Wiggins||5||56kg||96|
|5||2x499x3202||KARUTA QUEEN||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||11||56kg||100|
|6||07x2230x70||LATIN NEWS||Bryan Dais||Tim Clark||14||56kg||96|
|7||x310x136x4||GRIFFON||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||6||55.5kg||95|
|8||x141120x00||TOO MANY REDS||Tony Gollan||Larry Cassidy||12||55.5kg||95|
|9||900x600x20||METALLURGICAL||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell||17||54.5kg||93|
|10||1x807323x1||BENNY’S BUTTONS||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||15||54kg||92|
|12||8912x80x00||BAQABA||Steve Tregea||Micheal Hellyer||16||54kg||91|
|13||9065x060x0||MR ARMSTRONG||John P Thompson||Jim Byrne||1||54kg||87.5|
|14||086x3407x6||EASY RUNNING||Desleigh Forster||Paul Hammersley||2||54kg||85|
|15||121x1733x8||ROCKER||Kelly Schweida||Glen Colless||3||54kg||85|
|16e||21x1436x43||I’M COOL||Desleigh Forster||Glyn Schofield||18||54kg||84|
|17e||041361128x||FERMENT||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||9||54kg||84|
|18e||07x4047x62||NUPTSE||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||20||54kg||83|
|19e||165x179x39||HALLE ROCKS||Mick Price||Glen Boss||13||54kg||81|