Trevor Andrews’ triple Group 1 winner Luckygray returns to racing on Saturday in the Roma Cup 2014 where the six-year-old is set to start the favourite.
A dozen final acceptors make up the field for this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Del Basso Smallgoods Roma Cup (1200m) that is set to light up Belmont Park Racecourse as Race 7 at 3:52pm (WA time).
To wear the number one saddlecloth from barrier number one is Andrews’ Bradbury’s Luck grey Luckygray racing for the first time since their disappointing fifth to Ihtsahymn in the Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on December 21.
They trialed at Belmont on May 5 though over the 1000m and looked set for a boom return with a two length victory.
The dual Railway Stakes champ is also looking to score their second Roma Cup trophy on the weekend following a three and a half length win first-up in the race two years ago when trained by Gino Poletti.
The majority of the field resume here with eight other first-up runners in the mix including another past Roma Cup winner Grand Nirvana (barrier nine).
Fred Kersley’s veteran Scenic eight-year-old is a dual winner of the race having saluted in 2011 and 2009.
They will have to be at their best here though to win an incredible third edition of the showdown following their below par form from last season that included a 14th when beating home just one other runner in the Railway.
Other notable gallopers returning here include Adam Durrant’s Testa Rossa seven-year-old Ranger to be ridden by Peter Hall after William Pike turned down the ride, the Simon Miller-trained Luke’s Luck looking to improve on their 14th in the Bunbury Stakes from March and Kerrific.
Pike meanwhile will partner with Elite Belle from barrier six, Grant Williams’ Canny Lad mare in top form during her last spring – summer campaign.
Her last start was on New Year’s Day at Ascot where she won the Listed La Trice Stakes (1800m) with Damien Oliver aboard, an effort she’ll look to repeat over the shorter distance here after her fourth to Luckygray in her lead-up trial.
There is one other last start winner in the mix then with the Jim Taylor-trained Magnifisio.
The Magnus four-year-old has won nine of their 17 starts already but has the outside barrier (12) to overcome on Saturday with Jason Brown riding.
Brown has been aboard for most of their recent runs including three of their last four straight wins, the Roma Cup a chance to make it five on the trot.
Their last start was at Northam on May 4 when Magnifisio won the Listed Northam Toyota Stakes (1100m).
Another in-form hopeful sure to see some love from the punters is the Neville Parnham-trained Checkpoint last seen racing second to Conservatorium in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) from November last year.
Check out the full Roma Cup 2014 field, barriers and weight-for-age allocations below.
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2014 Roma Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Belmont Race 7 – 3:52pm – 17/05/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||x69604125x||LUCKYGRAY||Trevor Andrews||Shaun O’Donnell||1||58.5kg|
|2||37x8x5406x||GRAND NIRVANA||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||9||58.5kg|
|3||x2336x430x||RANGER||Adam Durrant||Peter Hall||11||58.5kg|
|4||3x4622x70x||LUKE’S LUCK||Simon A Miller||Jason Whiting||5||58.5kg|
|5||x9145x650x||KERRIFIC||Bruce Watkins & Gary Hitchcock||Glenn Smith||4||58.5kg|
|6||0x0000x98x||KING SAUL||Bruce Watkins & Gary Hitchcock||Ben Paterson (a)||7||58.5kg|
|7||x1111260x5||SETTLE STRADA||David Harrison||Patrick Carbery||2||58.5kg|
|8||x9538348x7||ZESTER||Daniel Morton||Jarrad Noske||10||58.5kg|
|9||226x72215x||KALAHAAR||Steve Wolfe||Shaun Mc Gruddy||8||58.5kg|
|10||115216x32x||CHECKPOINT||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||3||58.5kg|
|11||1x223111x1||MAGNIFISIO||Jim P Taylor||Jason Brown||12||56.5kg|
|12||3x1221691x||ELITE BELLE||Grant Williams||William Pike||6||56.5kg|