A particularly talented field has been confirmed for the 2014 Listed Roy Higgins Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Saturday, including Prince Of Penzance.
Prince Of Penzance has been one of the country’s most consistent performers since debuting in March last year, having claimed five wins from 10 starts and finishing outside the places on only two occasions.
The classy Pentire gelding was resounding favourite for the 2014 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) last time out however was unable to withstand a strong sprint by well-trialled rival Instrumentalist and faded late to finish fourth.
Trainer Darren Weir has an understandable high opinion of Prince Of Penzance, who will be particularly tough to beat in the Roy Higgins Stakes after drawing the ideal barrier 2.
Robert Smerdon-trained Cooldini has been confirmed for to make his fourth appearance in 2014 in the Roy Higgins Stakes, and will be hopeful of re-finding the form that delivered three consecutive wins over his 2013 winter preparation.
Having returned to the spelling paddock for more than six months, the Bernardini gelding has been unable to make much of an impact in his three preceding starts this year and will need to overcome the slightly awkward barrier 10 if he is to reverse his fortunes on Saturday.
Ken Keys-trained Like A Carousel (barrier 6) amazingly finished second in all five events he contested over his 2013 spring preparation including the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m).
The Helike gelding has returned to the track in 2014 in prime condition, producing his fifth straight runners-up tag on January 22 before breaking through for his maiden race win in the MSC Sign Maiden (2500m) at Moonee Valley on february 14th.
Having contested 42 races to date, Peter Moody-trained Macedonian is undoubtedly the most experienced horse confirmed for the 2014 Roy Higgins Stakes and has been steadily building in form since returning to the track in late December.
A tilt at the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) appears to be a likely target for the well-trialled eight-year-old, who produced a strong final-straight sprint to finish just off the pace in fifth in the 2013 edition of the event.
A total of 10 runners have been confirmed for the 2014 Listed Roy Higgins Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
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2014 Roy Higgins Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||3121×71214||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||2||58kg||94|
|2||901113×867||COOLDINI||Robert Smerdon||Glen Boss||10||57kg||92|
|3||595113×893||MACEDONIAN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||9||57kg||92|
|4||x064621205||GOTTINO (NZ)||Dan O’Sullivan||Ryan Maloney||1||56.5kg||91|
|5||13362×0616||OUTBACK JOE||Nigel Blackiston||Chad Schofield||3||56.5kg||91|
|6||414×084347||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes||Damian Lane||5||56kg||94|
|7||x900057258||DURNFORD||Pat Carey||Patrick Moloney (a)||8||55.5kg||89|
|8||50248×5086||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Dom Tourneur||4||55kg||88|
|9||x22222x231||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||Craig Newitt||6||55kg||73|
|10||6×02326153||CADEL’S GOLD||Nigel Blackiston||Chris Symons||7||55kg||66|