The major sprint race on the Turnbull Stakes Day program at Flemington this Saturday is the 2013 Gilgai Stakes which has attracted a class field of hopefuls.
Running as Race 9 at 5:05pm (AEST) in Melbourne, this year’s $220,000 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) has drawn a final field of 13 hopefuls.
One horse coming off the right form is the Peter Snowden-trained Sessions.
Drawn to perfection with barrier two the four-year-old Lonhro stallion has had two good runs this time in.
Their most recent saw them hold off Aeronautical to win the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 21.
Snowden will play a strong hand in the Gilgai Stakes too also saddling up his last start QTC Cup winner in Brisbane Galah (barrier three) and Albrecht with the inside run from barrier one who resumed with a third in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m).
Owner-trainer of The Shorts runner-up Aeronautical Lionel Cohen meanwhile has decided against the safe option of staying in Sydney this weekend and will take his Encosta De Lago five-year-old to Melbourne second-up.
“If I didn’t have to travel from Sydney I wouldn’t, but the conditions of the Gilgai are more favourable,” Cohen told The West Australian.
“He had done very well and we were very confident going into The Shorts. Unfortunately we found one a bit better on the day.
“It was that close the judges took a bit longer than normal to decide on the photo.”
Third to superstar Shamexpress in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) back in March, Aeronautical is being prepared for a Perth Summer Racing Carnival campaign at the end of the year.
They are targeting a run in the $500,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 23 and will be ridden on Saturday by Craig Williams who replaces Jim Cassidy.
“I was half-interested last year (in the Winterbottom), depending on my horse’s performance, but it didn’t work out,” Cohen said.
“We were probably not quite there yet. I am looking at him race by race, but I have left enough in the program to go to Perth should we so decide.
“It won’t be an afterthought, it will be part of the program.”
Third in The Shorts, which Sessions recorded a new race record of 1:3.26 to win, Spirit Of Boom is another genuine Gilgai Stakes contender for the weekend.
A fast finisher in The Shorts, the Tony Gollan-trained Queenslander will have to be at their best under the set weight and penalty conditions for Saturday which look to suit Aeronautical (55.5kg) who meets Sessions (55.5kg) and Spirit Of Boom (57kg) 1 and 1.5kg better respectively from last start.
Other notable Gilgai runners then include Darren Weir’s dual Group 1 winning mare Platelet and the returning John O’Shea-trained Steps In Time.
Check out the full Gilgai Stakes 2013 field, barriers, hoops and weights below.
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2013 Gilgai Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 9 – 5:05pm (AEST) – 05/10/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x3662644x3||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Nicholas Hall||10||57kg||104|
|2||x46230x81x||GALAH||Peter Snowden||Craig Newitt||3||57kg||100|
|3||x2354292x0||GO THE KNUCKLE||Robert Smerdon||Chad Schofield (a)||6||57kg||96|
|4||x1321x1x21||SESSIONS||Peter Snowden||Steven Arnold||2||56.5kg||102|
|5||325x3211x4||PLATELET||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||5||56kg||110|
|6||5049x4280x||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Mick Price||Glen Boss||8||56kg||100|
|7||8×22314294||THAT’S THE ONE||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Vlad Duric||13||56kg||96|
|8||22x67043x3||ALBRECHT||Peter Snowden||Dwayne Dunn||1||55.5kg||98|
|9||17x33660x2||AERONAUTICAL||Lionel Cohen||Craig Williams||11||55.5kg||100|
|10||045x6021x0||MISTER MILTON||Norman Waymouth||Damian Lane||7||55.5kg||94|
|11||36×4430233||GRIFFON||John P Thompson||Mark Zahra||9||55kg||96|
|12||21217x53x6||REFLECTANCE||John P Thompson||Brett Prebble||12||55kg||76|
|13||8x114x070x||STEPS IN TIME||John O’Shea||Michael Rodd||4||54.5kg||106|