Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The final field for the 2014 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) has been released, with talented gelding Boban confirmed for his second run of 2014 following a less-than-ideal start when fifth behind Appearance in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago.
Boban claimed five wins from as many starts in what was undoubtedly the best campaign of any Australian runner through the 2013 spring, which included both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Having claimed resounding favouritism ahead of his first-up run at Randwick two weeks ago, the classy Bernardini gelding was blocked for a run in the final 200 metres, finishing well off the pace in fifth position.
Trainer Chris Waller, who will also saddle Irish import Moriarty and Sizzling in the 2014 Apollo Stakes, only allocated a pass mark to his star miler following the Expressway Stakes, but is confident of a much more comprehensive run on Saturday, despite drawing barrier 7.
Also making his 2014 debut in the Expressway Stakes two weeks ago, Moriarty (barrier 8) was unable to match the late pace of the majority of his competitors and finished a disappointing eighth.
A busy calendar is well and truly on the cards for the Clodovil gelding, with runs in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) likely targets in March alone.
Despite entering the Expressway Stakes as the most un-favoured Waller runner amongst punters, Sizzling managed a strong late run to finish a close third, only one and a half lengths behind Appearance.
Previously trained by Queensland-based veteran Kelso Wood, the Snitzel entire performed well in both the 2012 and 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnivals; claiming the T.J Smith Stakes (1600m) in 2012 and the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) during his last preparation.
Despite having not scored a win outside of Queensland, Sizzling has returned to the track in 2014 in good form and is in with a chance for Apollo Stakes glory after drawing barrier 6.
Trainer Guy Walter is confident of a second-straight victory for Appearance in the 2014 Apollo Stakes, having drawn the ideal barrier two against a field that is largely similar to the Expressway Stakes two weeks ago.
Jockey Blake Shinn delivered a sensational ride on the Commands mare in that event and will retain the ride in the Apollo Stakes this weekend.
Having claimed twelve wins from a total of 42 starts to date, Pinwheel (barrier 9) is one of the most well-trialled runners currently appearing on Sydney’s race tracks, and has been confirmed to line up once more in the 2014 Apollo Stakes.
Similarly to the majority of his rivals this weekend, the Lonhro gelding opened his 2014 account in the Expressway Stakes two weeks ago, and proved he is still a keen competitor at eight-years-old, unlucky to finish fourth.
Colin Scott-trained Speediness (barrier 4) has also been included in the final field for the 2014 Apollo Stakes, while Howmuchdoyouloveme (barrier 5), Rain Drum (barrier 3), Alma’s Fury (barrier 10) and New Zealand-import Tremec (barrier 1) round out the final field for this weekend’s Group 2 feature at Royal Randwick.
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2014 Apollo Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||29x11111x5||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||7||59kg||116|
|2||1x041503x8||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||8||59kg||109|
|4||31x14423x6||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Jim Cassidy||4||59kg||108|
|5||x307115x20||HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME||Jim Litt||Jason Collett||5||59kg||107|
|7||3131x1442x||RAIN DRUM||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||3||59kg||101|
|8||x068653376||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||Tim Clark||10||59kg||99|
|9||1211x0000x||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||Nathan Berry||1||59kg||98|
|10||24117x94x1||APPEARANCE||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||2||57kg||115|
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