In honour of the late, great jockey-come-owner Roy Higgins, the 2014 Group 3 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m) has assumed the name ‘The Roy Higgins Tribute Quality’ on this weekend’s Royal Randwick race card, and has been confirmed to host a particularly exciting list of 15 runners after the final field and barrier draw was released this morning.
Having returned to the track in scintillating form in 2014, classy filly A Time For Julia arguably headlines the 2014 Roy Higgins Tribute final field, but will have to overcome the awkward barrier 12 to continue her good run of form in the best way possible.
Claiming three wins and four places from only nine race starts to date, A Time For Julia produced an impressive turn of foot to easily run down Danestroem and Bonaria and win the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) first-up, continuing on to finish second behind leading sprinter Red Tracer in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) last time out.
Trainer Peter Moody holds the classy Redoute’s Choice mare in understandably high regard, and is confident of continued success this weekend ahead of a likely appearance in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 12th.
Having also returned to the track in fine touch in 2014, Lilliburlero was arguably the big winner at this morning’s barrier draw, and will leave from the ideal gate 1.
Trained by David Payne at Rosehill, Lilliburlero has recorded four wins and two places from 12 race starts to date, including the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 22nd.
Payne has geared the talented four-year-old towards a run in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1400m) in April, and is Lilliburlero will continue her perfect start to the year in the Roy Higgins Tribute this weekend.
Gai Waterhouse-trained Driefontein is yet to reach full potential in 2014, having been unable to secure a win after strolling home in the R.M Williams Magic Millions Quality (1300m) in early January.
Contesting one of the most consistent 2013 autumn campaigns of any Australian three-year-old, Waterhouse believes it’s only a matter of time before the Fastnet Rock mare returns to peak condition, and is offered a good opportunity to do so in the Roy Higgins Tribute after being allocated the prime barrier 4.
Trainer Joseph Pride has experienced good success with classy mare Recoinage in her current preparation, winning the Gifts.com.au Maiden (1300m) and placing second behind Lilliburlero in the Triscay Stakes in her two most recent starts.
Despite being allocated the somewhat wide barrier 9 for the 2014 Roy Higgins Tribute, Pride is confident in another spirited run from the Warwick Farm-based four-year-old ahead of a hopeful challenge in the TJ Smith Stakes.Ladbrokes is currently offering the best odds for the 2014 Roy Higgins Tribute Quality!
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2014 Roy Higgins Quality Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||6x154x4165||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4||58kg||102|
|3||75x41268x1||LILLIBURLERO||David Payne||Nash Rawiller||1||56kg||98|
|4||12236x540x||AVOID LIGHTNING||Les Bridge||Tim Clark||11||55.5kg||97|
|5||211x1539x7||PENTASIA||Marc Quinn||Christian Reith||6||55.5kg||97|
|6||21x2350x12||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||–||12||55kg||96|
|7||x102000x2x||EMMALENE||Liam Birchley||Glyn Schofield||10||55kg||89|
|8||6417x2007x||MELIORA||Peter G Moody||–||8||55kg||89|
|9||254×822412||RECOINAGE||Joseph Pride||Jason Collett||9||55kg||86|
|10||9x8214x7x9||SINGLE STYLE (NZ)||Gary Portelli||Brenton Avdulla||14||55kg||85|
|11||54713144×1||ANGEL BEE (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||2||55kg||82|
|12||116x1535x8||GAMBA||Guy Walter||Glen Boss||3||55kg||79|
|14||30x3414x50||SATURN ROCK||Grahame Begg||Jim Cassidy||15||55kg||76|
|15||188x3113x3||HOLY DELUSIONS||Tim Martin||Yusuke Ichikawa (a)||7||55kg||75|