Talented Gallopers Included In 2014 Victoria Handicap Final Field

The 2014 Victoria Handicap is one of two Group 3 races at Caulfield on Saturday and drawn a capacity field of sixteen gallopers as well as four emergencies.

Mr O'Ceirin will return to the races in the 2014 Victoria Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday.

Mr O'Ceirin will return to the races in the 2014 Victoria Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Carrying the top-weight in the 2014 edition of the Victoria Handicap is Mr O’Ceirin, who is returning to the races for the first time since he finished eleventh behind Fawkner in the 2013 Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 last year.

Mr O’Ceirin (barrier five) has not recorded a first-up victory since he won on debut in New Zealand and trainer Ciaron Maher is using the race as match practice for the Postponed gelding before he steps up to staying trips during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival

Team Hawkes-trained Mecir broke through for his maiden win at Group level with a fast-finishing effort in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) and will be chasing his first win in Melbourne in the Victoria Handicap on Saturday.

Mecir will jump from barrier three in the Group 3 event and will be ridden by jockey Dwayne Dunn, who rode a winner on his returning to racing at Sandown this afternoon.

Another horse taking winning form into the 2014 Victoria Handicap is Paul Richards-trained Natuzzi.

Natuzzi (barrier ten) has performed consistently at the highest level of racing in New Zealand and made his Australian racing debut with a strong win over Couldn’t Agreemore and Nearest To Pin in the Pink Ribbon Cup (1200m) at Caulfield on April 12.

Sistine Demon has the opportunity to cap off his stellar preparation with a maiden win at Group level after trainer Andrew Noblet included the consistent gelding in the 2014 Victoria Handicap field.

Sistine Demon strung together an impressive winning streak of five straight victories during his summer campaign and suffered a narrow loss in the Listed Kilmore Cup (1600m) on February 23 before returning to winning form with a narrow win in the Listed Super Saturday Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 8.

The son of Excites is making his debut at Group level and will have to overcome the poor barrier draw of gate 18 to add another win to his racing resume.

Smokin’ Joey (barrier 14) won the 2012 edition of the Victoria Handicap, when prepared by Anthony Freedman, and has the opportunity to join Jet Figher (1987 and 1988) and Debrief (2002 and 2003) as the only horses to win the race on multiple occasions.

The Encosta De Lago gelding returned to his best form during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing second behind Boban in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), but made a slow start to his autumn preparation before finishing third behind Spacecraft in the Macaulay Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on April 5.

Other key Victoria Handicap barrier draws include Peter Moody-trained Ready To Rip (barrier nine), tough gelding Adamantium (barrier 13), provincial galloper Bianmick (barrier 17) and the popular Tigerland (barrier 11).

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No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 x61612100x MR O’CEIRIN (NZ) Ciaron Maher Mark Zahra 5 58kg 105
2 0x2166x3x4 READY TO RIP Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 9 57.5kg 104
3 0x0120x803 SMOKIN’ JOEY Wez Hunter Jamie Mott 14 56.5kg 102
4 13×2582011 NATUZZI (NZ) Paul Richards Chris Johnson 10 56kg 101
5 1x708x7102 ADAMANTIUM (NZ) Danny O’Brien James Winks 13 55.5kg 100
6 850×161441 MECIR Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Dwayne Dunn 3 55kg 99
7 x09x90346x BIANMICK Matt Laurie Darren Gauci 17 54kg 97
8 43969740×6 HAWKS BAY Neil Dyer Dean Yendall 20 54kg 97
9 x241111121 SISTINE DEMON Andrew Noblet Ms Jamie Kah (a) 18 54kg 97
10 1111x6x093 HAPPY GALAXY Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Todd Pannell 16 54kg 96
11 410×645326 REPARATIONS Anthony Freedman Daniel Moor 1 54kg 94
12 31×3513135 DECIRCLES Danny O’Brien Chris Symons 4 54kg 93
13 1x06666x75 MISTER MILTON Norman Waymouth Steven King 8 54kg 90
14 5622110×14 ALMIGHTY BULLET John Hyam Jason Holder 19 54kg 89
15 x32356046x GARUD (IRE) Michael Moroney Jake Noonan 7 54kg 88
16 121110×310 TIGERLAND (NZ) Matt Laurie Damian Lane 11 54kg 86
17e x543138x62 GIG Shawn Mathrick Vlad Duric 2 54kg 85
18e 9×14254984 CHILE EXPRESS (NZ) Robbie Griffiths Dean Holland 6 54kg 82
19e 25x12213x1 ELWICK JACK Greg Eurell Darren Gauci 12 54kg 78
20e 4704130224 LONDON STRIPE (IRE) Pat Carey 15 54kg 78

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