A particularly talented field of two-year-old colts and geldings has been confirmed to line up for the 2014 Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens this weekend, used by many as a final competitive stop before the major Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on April 5th.
Having finished second amongst exciting fields in all three of his races so far, classy colt Jabali has been confirmed for an appearance in the 2014 Todman Stakes.
Jabali (barrier 7) was unlucky to cross the line behind fellow-Todman Stakes acceptor Risen From Doubt in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) on debut in October, likewise behind boom colt Rubick in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) first-up this year.
Having found a position well back in the field, the talented son of Exceed And Excel was arguably most impressive when producing a strong turn of foot in the final straight to finish second behind leading filly Earthquake in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) most recently.
Currently appearing in early nominations for both the Golden Slipper and Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) just one week late, trainer Mick Price has hinted Jabali is 90% likely to contest the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, particularly if successful this weekend.
Following his impressive win in the Maribyrnong Trial on debut, Risen From Doubt overcame an awkward barrier to finish a strong third behind Mossfun and Press Report in the Group 2 Silver Slipper (1100m) at Rosehill on March 1st.
Having drawn the ideal barrier 3 for this weekend’s Group 2, Risen From Doubt will be particularly hard to beat, confirmed to be partnered by in-form jockey Hugh Bowman for the second time.
Exciting prospect Unencumbered was arguably the biggest winner at this morning’s barrier draw, having been allocated gate 2 for the Todman Stakes.
Unencumbered has amassed five wins and one place from only seven race starts so far, and currently features as outright third-favourite in betting markets for the Golden Slipper, behind Earthquake and Mossfun.
Despite producing his worst run to date in the Silver Slipper most recently, trainer Bjorn Baker believes the Testa Rossa colt will be better for the run and is confident of another win this weekend.
Mick Price will be offered arguably the best chance of success in the Todman Stakes, having also accepted positions for in-form runner Cornrow (barrier 1) and Eqdaam.
While not expected to figure in positions for the Blue Diamond Stakes, Cornrow sat on the heels of stable mate Jabali, and produced a similarly impressive turn of foot to finish just a nose behind in third.
Eqdaam has only contest one race start to date; the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1100m), in which he was unable to match the late pace of eventual winner Nayeli and finishing nearly five lengths in the red in sixth.
Despite the less-than-convincing debut result, Price is confident the Choisir colt can figure in contention from the central barrier 5.
Exciting Leon Corstens-trained two-year-old Awesome Rock (barrier 8) has also been included in the final field for the 2014 Todman Stakes, and will be joined by Scratch Me Lucky (barrier 10), Wandjina (barrier 9), Lockroy (barrier 4) and Ghibellines (barrier 6).
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2014 Todman Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|1||1311115||UNENCUMBERED||Bjorn Baker||Tommy Berry||2||55.5kg|
|2||2×22||JABALI||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||7||55.5kg|
|3||3×253||CORNROW||Mick Price||Jim Cassidy||1||55.5kg|
|4||1×3||RISEN FROM DOUBT||Tony McEvoy||Hugh Bowman||3||55.5kg|
|5||712||AWESOME ROCK||Leon Corstens||Michael Rodd||8||55.5kg|
|6||825×71||SCRATCH ME LUCKY||Paul Perry||Blake Shinn||10||55.5kg|
|7||7×14||WANDJINA||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||9||55.5kg|
|8||2×7||LOCKROY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||4||55.5kg|
|10||5||EQDAAM||Mick Price||Glen Boss||5||55.5kg|