A smart field of 14 sprinters will face off in the opening Group 1 at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, final acceptances for the 2014 The Galaxy now out.
There are three Group 1 features on Rosehill Guineas Day in Sydney this weekend, the first of which will run as Race 6 at 3:20pm (AEST) when the short distance specialists take to the track for the $400,000 Group 1 Bloodstock.com.au Galaxy (1100m).
The top-weighted runner in the number one saddlecloth this year is the Jason Warren-trained Bel Sprinter who has been allocated 58kg.
Drawn nicely in gate two with Craig Williams to ride, the internationally performed sprinter will have 4.5kg more than the 53.5kg they carried to victory in last year’s The Galaxy, which they won first-up over Snitzerland.
It’s a tough ask of Bel Sprinter than as the only horse in more than 30 years to carry more than 57kg to victory in the race was Mr Tiz (1983).
In fact in the last 20 years 15 The Galaxy winners have carried 54kg or less to victory.
From their Galaxy success last autumn, Bel Sprinter then ran third to super mare Black Caviar in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick before their second to Lucky Nine in Singapore’s Group 1 International Sprint.
Bel Sprinter hasn’t won a race in 12 months however and are looking to improve on a last start second to Villa Verde in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) from two weeks ago when they ran well over the final 200m to come within a length and a half of the winner.
Challenge Stakes champ Villa Verde is out for another win this weekend, the Anthony Cummings-trained Not A Single Doubt filly drawn in the far outside gate (14) for The Galaxy.
Three The Galaxy winners in the past 15 years have come via the weight-for-age Challenge Stakes, but the only one to have placed in the lead-up event was Snowland (2003).
One thing firmly in the young grey’s favour though is her age, three-year-olds boasting an imposing The Galaxy record with six of the past 12 winners being of that age group.
The other three-year-olds looking to continue the gun run of youngsters in the race this year are then the Gai Waterhouse-trained Whittington (barrier three) and Robert Smerdon’s Fastnet Rock filly Anatina (barrier 7).
Tale Of The Cat colt Whittington has just their ninth career start here, the Magic Millions Sprint winner on the Gold Coast in January looking to improve on their Challenge Stakes fifth.
Winner of the Ballarat Magic Millions 3YO Classic last spring, Anatina resumed on March 8 at Flemington to beat home Gregers in the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1100m).
Like Whittington she lines up for just the ninth time here, The Galaxy to be her maiden Group 1 assignment and her Sydney debut.
Anatina also has the most successful The Galaxy barrier from the past 30 years, age seven producing five winners, and will be ridden by Craig Williams on just 52kg.
Whittington also gets in on the 52kg minimum as does Group 1 winning New Zealand mare Irish Fling and the John O’Shea-trained Kencella.
Exceed And Excel four-year-old Kencella is on the up-and-up vying for their fourth win on the trot here after taking out the Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m) at the track just last Saturday.
Last year’s The Galaxy runner-up Snitzerland meanwhile is also back for a shot this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Drawn in gate eight with Brenton Avdulla to ride, Gerald Ryan’s four-year-old daughter of Snitzel has been in red hot form again this time in.
First-up she won the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning over Shamexpress before her second when run down by Villa Verde in the Challenge Stakes.
The other big name The Galaxy hopes this year then include the rails-drawn Famous Seamus coming via a Challenge Stakes third and 2012 The Galaxy winner Temple Of Boom for Queensland’s Tony Gollan.
Check out the full 2014 The Galaxy field, barriers, jockeys and weights in the table below.
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2014 The Galaxy Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 6 – 3:20pm (AEST) – 29/03/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||132x668x94||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Craig Newitt||2||58kg||110|
|2||x127x82x12||SNITZERLAND||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||8||56.5kg||111|
|3||00x63135x3||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Tim Clark||1||56.5kg||107|
|4||220x136x09||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Michael Rodd||5||56kg||106|
|6||70x22805x8||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Hugh Bowman||12||55.5kg||105|
|7||71330718×2||SEE THE WORLD||Joseph Pride||Jason Collett||6||55kg||104|
|8||x590x80x19||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||4||55kg||104|
|9||270x2440x1||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||James McDonald||14||53kg||105|
|10||80x40019x0||SATIN SHOES||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||11||53kg||104|
|11||2x11413x14||IRISH FLING (NZ)||Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen||Mark Du Plessis||9||52kg||102|
|12||18×1132111||KENCELLA||John O’Shea||Chad Schofield||10||52kg||98|
|13||210x73x1x5||WHITTINGTON||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||3||52kg||97|
|14||24x11271x1||ANATINA||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||7||52kg||88|