A quality line-up of three-year-old colts and geldings are set to steal the show at Moonee Valley on Saturday in the 2013 McKenzie Stakes including three youngsters yet to taste defeat.
Much of the pre-race hype on the $120,000 Listed Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) this year has been on the rematch of Rick Hore-Lacy’s Clevadude and Kiwi raider Cauthen who finished one-two at the track last start.
However there are plenty of promising runners in the mix including the Peter Snowden-trained Long John.
The Street Cry gelding has won all three of their career starts with ease, the most recent of which was a stellar four length effort in the Listed ANZAC Day Stakes (1410m) at Flemington in April, and Snowden’s son and Melbourne foreman Paul is hoping they can step up in grade here.
“You’ve got to meet them sooner or later,” Snowden Jnr told Racing Victoria.
“He’s a talented horse. He’s three from three and any horse that does that is pretty good. I think he can get to the next level.”
Also undefeated and first-up in the McKenzie is Anthony Freedman’s last start Adelaide Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Charles In Charge, drawn in gate five.
The last of the undefeated hopes is then the Michael Kent-trained Teofilo colt Pyrrolic (barrier two) who won on debut at Sandown back in May by a tidy three lengths when ridden by Glen Boss who is replaced by Nicholas Hall on Saturday.
Getting back to the Clevadude v Cauthen clash, the 2013 Caulfield Guineas-bound duo won’t be without their fans.
Bel Esprit gelding Clevadude (barrier six) has won three of their four starts to date with their only loss being their first look at 1200m when a distant 14th in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast in January.
Andrew Campbell’s Darci Brahma colt Cauthen (barrier four) meanwhile will be ridden by James McDonald, aboard for their Aussie debut here on August 3 when a good second to Clevadude, as they look to post their first win down under.
Cauthen is already getting lots of early love for their shot at the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October paying $7 as the second favourite in the futures markets behind Prince Harada ($6.50).
Another top chance on Saturday is then the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamus Award drawn in gate three with Craig Williams to ride.
The most experienced of the bunch this Snitzel colt has run in a number of Group races including their fifth to Miracles Of Life in the Group 1 Blue Diamond and then a very close second last time out in March behind Twilight Royale in the Group 2 VRC Sires Produce over the 1400m.
Rounding out the field are then the Peter Moody-trained Weinholt, Epic Saga on the rails and Robert Smerdon’s up-and-comer Jade’s Boy.
The full McKenzie Stakes 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and set weights are listed below.
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2013 McKenzie Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 4 – 2:00pm (AEST) – 24/08/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||111x||LONG JOHN||Peter Snowden||Steven Arnold||9||56.5kg||76|
|2||11x||CHARLES IN CHARGE||Anthony Freedman||James Winks||5||56.5kg||73|
|3||33x352x||SHAMUS AWARD||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||3||55kg||72|
|4||110×1||CLEVADUDE||Rick Hore-Lacy||Craig Newitt||6||55kg||75|
|5||4x171x3||WEINHOLT||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7||55kg||69|
|6||8112||JADE’S BOY||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||8||55kg||68|
|7||1x||PYRROLIC||Michael Kent||Nicholas Hall||2||55kg||68|
|8||12||CAUTHEN (NZ)||Andrew R Campbell||James McDonald||4||55kg||64|
|9||138x||EPIC SAGA||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chris Symons||1||55kg||62|