One of the key support races on the Golden Rose Day program this Saturday in Sydney will be the Sebring Stakes 2013, also known as the Theo Marks Stakes, which has drawn a nice final field led by speedy local Rain Affair.
Joe Pride’s classy Commands six-year-old will carry the 59.5kg top weight with the No. 1 saddlecloth in a field of 12 acceptors for the $200,000 Sebring Sprint (1400m) at Rosehill.
Due to be ridden by Glyn Schofield who replaces Nash Rawiller they’ve drawn ideally in barrier two after their second win from three starts this time in.
They won first-up at Randwick by an emphatic five and a half lengths over Mic Mac in the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) before going down as the shock beaten odds-on favourite when third to Veyron in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 24.
In the Warwick Stakes they had barrier 12 of 13 and will appreciate a better draw as they look to return to form with a new jockey aboard on the weekend.
“He went ridiculously fast in the TJ Smith (when fourth to Black Caviar in April) and came out his next start to run second to All Too Hard in the All Aged in the autumn,” Pride told The Daily Telegraph this week.
“And he had a tough run in the Newmarket (when sixth in 2012) and came back to win the (Group 2) Challenge Stakes (next start).
“It’s hard to tell how he’ll bounce back after the other day.
“Unfortunately it’s one of those things where you need to take them to the races to find out, but historically he has been able to bounce back.”
Following Rain Affair in the Sebring Sprint field and weights with 58.5kg is then the returning Rob Heathcote-trained reigning Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn in barrier six with Jason Collett to ride.
Veteran St Petersburg seven-year-old Solzhenitsyn hasn’t raced since their brave fifth when beaten less than two lengths by surprise winner Linton in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at home in Queensland in early June.
Other highly-rated hopes include Paul Murray’s smart gelding Alma’s Fury (56kg) and the Chris Waller-trained Riva De Lago (55kg) to be ridden by Jim Cassidy for their second run of the new season out to improve on their eighth to Rebel Dane in the Show County Quality.
Waller has also accepted for his improving Bernardini four-year-old Boban who gets in on the 53kg minimum despite having won over 1300m at the track last start when resuming a fortnight ago.
Also coming off a last start win is the Greg Eurell-trained Hosting, the Host four-year-old a Sandown victory on August 28 in their first run since finishing dead last behind Ferlax in the Australian Guineas at Flemington in March.
Hosting will be joined on Saturday by stablemate Your Honour in gate 10 with Kerrin McEvoy aboard.
Your Honour is surely one of the untapped surprise chances here too having won four on the trot last season around the provincial tracks before a first-up fourth to Hosting at Sandown when resuming.
Other notable hopes then include the second Brisbane raider Someday on the rails for trainer Kelso Wood, and the Gregory Hickman-trained Taxmeifyoucan racing for the first time since their Inglis 3YO Guineas win at Scone in May.
The full Sebring Sprint 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights are detailed below.
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2013 Sebring Sprint Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 5 – 3:10pm (AEST) – 14/09/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||8x44220x13||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||2||59.5kg||111|
|2||136x30715x||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||Jason Collett||6||58.5kg||109|
|3||2116420×06||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||Christian Reith||7||56kg||104|
|4||23511222×8||RIVA DE LAGO||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||8||55kg||102|
|5||0x37166x59||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||–||4||54kg||100|
|6||29502305×0||MONTON||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton (a)||11||54kg||100|
|7||20x3480x7x||SOMEPIN ANYPIN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||9||54kg||100|
|8||x01x252310||SOMEDAY||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||1||53kg||94|
|9||18x253731x||TAXMEIFYOUCAN||Gregory Hickman||Peter Robl||5||53kg||90|
|10||1x330x1||HOSTING||Greg Eurell||Tommy Berry||3||53kg||76|
|11||1111×4||YOUR HONOUR||Greg Eurell||Kerrin McEvoy||10||53kg||76|