The 2014 Rubiton Stakes final field was released this morning and the Group 2 event looks like being a key lead-up event to the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22.
One of a number of talented sprinters heading to the Oakleigh Plate that has been included in the Rubiton Stakes field is Queensland sprinter Better Than Ready who will be returning to the races for the first time since his brief summer campaign.
Better Than Ready (barrier two) missed the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival after injuring himself during a trackwork gallop at Doomben, but performed well in his two starts in Brisbane; winning the Club Super Handicap (1000m) and the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) despite carrying the top-weight of 60.5kg in both events.
Trainer Kelly Schweida is desperately chasing a Group 1 victory with the son of More Than Ready and he will contest both the Oakleigh Plate and the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
Another galloper that will be chasing their maiden win at Group 1 level during their autumn campaign is the talented Lankan Rupee (barrier four), who is set to contest both the Oakleigh Plate, Newmarket Handicap and Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
Lankan Rupee has performed extremely well since being gelded at the end of his autumn campaign last year and finished his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with strong wins in the Listed Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) and the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m).
Joining Lankan Rupee in the 2014 Rubiton Stakes field is stablemate Lion Of Belfort, who will jump from barrier six with leading Melbourne jockey Glen Boss on board.
Lion Of Belfort worked through the grades impressively during his maiden campaign after making his racing debut with a second place finish on the Geelong Synthetic track on August 27.
The Statue Of Liberty broke through for his maiden race win at Geelong a fortnight later and took out the Mitchelton Wines Plate (1200m) at Moonee Valley before stamping himself as a Group contender with a win in the Blue Sapphire (1200m) at Caulfield.
He was given a maiden opportunity at Group 1 level in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and worked home strongly in the final stages of the race to finish third behind Zoustar and Not Listen’tome.
Perth sprinter Excelorada (barrier seven), Anthony Freedman-trained First Command (barrier eight), Kensington Stakes placegetter Pocket Rockets (barrier five), Tony McEvoy-trained Iconic (barrier one) and the resuming Diamond Oasis (barrier three) have also been included in the 2014 Rubiton Stakes field.
The Rubiton Stakes is one of eight Group races taking place at Caulfield this weekend and you can find the best odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2014 Rubiton Stakes Final Field And Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||151350x11x||BETTER THAN READY||Kelly Schweida||Ric McMahon||2||57kg||105|
|2||x878052428||EXCELORADA||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||7||57kg||93|
|3||7246x1311x||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||4||57kg||103|
|4||0x0x1137x7||FIRST COMMAND||Anthony Freedman||Stephen Baster||8||56kg||103|
|5||13111500×2||POCKET ROCKETS||Tony McEvoy||Damien Oliver||5||56kg||92|
|6||21113x||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||Glen Boss||6||53kg||90|
|7||1152x162x5||ICONIC||Tony McEvoy||Brenton Avdulla||1||53kg||84|
|8||33x712350x||DIAMOND OASIS||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||3||53kg||77|