Trainer Gai Waterhouse will saddle three runners in the 2014 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday after this morning’s final field and barrier draw for the Group 2 feature confirmed appearances for Romantic Touch, Liberty’s Choice (barrier 2) and Woodbine (barrier 8).
Despite noticeably fading over a short spring campaign, Romantic Touch produced a particularly strong 2013 autumn preparation; claiming the TAB.com.au Plate (1400m), Australian Turf Club Handicap (1550m) and Group 1 J.J Atkins (1600m) ahead of Zoustar and Paximadia.
Having placed third behind El Roca and Dissident in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) first-up on February 15th, Waterhouse is confident the classy Fastnet Rock gelding is the runner to beat in the 2014 Hobartville Stakes, particularly after drawing the ideal barrier 5.
El Roca has also been confirmed for a second-up appearance in the Hobartville Stakes, but will have to overcome the awkward barrier 10 if he is to continue his perfect start to 2014.
El Roca managed a strong maiden preparation throughout the spring of 2013, following up wins in his first two events that included in the Listed Challenge Stakes (1200m) in New Zealand with an unlucky second to Eclair Big Bang in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and closing his preparation fifth behind Long John in the major Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.
Jockey Hugh Bowman is confident of another win for the talented colt this weekend, who will then set his sights on an appearance in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on march 15th.
Also included in the final field for the 2014 Hobartville Stakes, Koroibete has not finished worse than third in six race starts to date and will leave from barrier 7 on Saturday.
Despite being bred with the intention of a sprinting career, trainer Gerald Ryan quickly identified Koroibete as a potentially successful stayer and has outlined a possible tilt at the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) as a major goal this preparation after comfortably taking out the 2014 ATC Membership On Sale Maiden (1800m) last time out.
Despite being unable to claim a victory since taking out the Listed Blue Diamond Prelude C&G event on debut in 2013, trainer Peter Moody is confident Dissident can lay a serious claim on the Hobartville Stakes on Saturday after returning to the track in 2014 in great condition.
Undoubtedly peaking when second behind Zoustar in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in September, Dissident produced a strong sprint to finish second behind El Roca in the Eskimo Prince two weeks ago.
A total of 11 horses have been confirmed for line up for the 2014 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes.
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2014 Hobartville Stakes Final Filed and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||37x22264x2||DISSIDENT||Peter G Moody||Jim Cassidy||6||56.5kg||94|
|2||x7111x80x3||ROMANTIC TOUCH||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||5||56.5kg||94|
|3||30111x||ATLANTE||Murray Baker||Glyn Schofield||3||56.5kg||94|
|4||12x312310x||SAVVY NATURE (NZ)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||9||56.5kg||92|
|5||1125×1||EL ROCA||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Hugh Bowman||10||56.5kg||92|
|6||31x2131x||KOROIBETE||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||7||56.5kg||81|
|7||458x4444x5||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Nathan Berry||4||56.5kg||78|
|8||222x31225x||LIBERTY’S CHOICE||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||2||56.5kg||78|
|9||13×11||WOODBINE||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||8||56.5kg||75|
|10||33925||TAKEWING||Jason Coyle||Blake Shinn||1||56.5kg||60|
|11||09×4||SWIGGIN’||Anthony Cummings||Sam Clipperton (a)||11||56.5kg||55|