Les Bridge’s last start winner at the track Avoid Lightning will shoot for back-to-back Randwick victories on Saturday when they take on a class field in the June Stakes 2014.
The sole Black-Type on the Sydney race card this weekend, the $100,000 Listed June Stakes (1100m) has attracted a final field of 12 sprinters.
To wear the number one saddlecloth from barrier two with Tim Clark in the saddle is in-form Blevic mare Avoid Lightning.
The locally-trained five-year-old has run top two in her past three starts including a Group 3 win in the Birthday Card Stakes at Rosehill at the end of March.
Most recently the known wet-tracker won over this track and distance on May 24 when carrying 58kg, a kilo less than the 59kg top-weight she shares in the June Stakes with the Paul Messara-trained Mic Mac.
Veteran Statue Of Liberty eight-year-old Mic Mac is first-up here not having raced since a failed effort when 11th behind subsequent The Goodwood winner Smokin’ Joey, who runs in the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in Brisbane on Saturday, in a Group 3 at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Along with Avoid Lightning there are then three other last start winners in the mix including Benjamin Smith’s Broadmeadow-based Testa Rossa six-year-old Testarhythm.
The gelding won the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at Scone on May 17, an effort they’re looking to repeat over the same distance on Saturday.
Out wide in the far barrier (12) is then Peter Moody’s last start winning Encosta De Lago mare Kneeling who also comes off Black-Type success having thrived on a mud track at Warnambool on April 30 to win the Listed Wangoom Handicap (1200m).
One of the likely favourites meanwhile will be the Matthew Dale-trained Unanimously in gate four with Josh Adams in the saddle.
The Not A Single Doubt gelding enjoyed a win in the Wagga Town Plate at the start of last month before their close second when a length off fellow June Stakes rival Testarhythm in the Ortensia Stakes.
Trained in Canberra, Unanimously certainly gets around having run at nine different race tracks during their past 11 starts.
While they looked like making another trip to Melbourne this week to race in Friday’s Golden Topaz at Swan Hill, this time Dale has kept them closer to home to give them a shot at a Black-Type in Sydney.
“The logistics of going to Melbourne are quite straightforward but Swan Hill is a bit harder,” Dale told AAP.
“We opted for a home game because he does a fair bit of travelling.
“If there was a big difference in the quality of the fields we would have gone to Swan Hill but there’s not.”
Dale is also confident Unanimously is in with a genuine shot at the June Stakes having been pleased with their lead-up form.
“This preparation he is probably in career-best form,” he said.
“He won his first start as a two-year-old and a lot of the breed are better at two and three then train off but he has trained on as a six-year-old.
“He is only lightly-raced and we have never over-taxed him in one preparation.”
Other notable hopes in the race then include the John O’Shea-trained Ortensia Stakes third placed Canny Lad three-year-old Barbed to be ridden by apprentice hoop Sam Clipperton and Joe Pride’s rails-drawn Recoinage coming off a second to Avoid Lightning at the track two weeks ago.
Check out the full June Stakes 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below.
Whether it’s one of the Randwick races this weekend, or one of the three Group 1s in Brisbane you’re after the odds on, make sure you get the guaranteed best prices by betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2014 June Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 6 (2:50pm) – 07/06/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||6x540x5121||AVOID LIGHTNING||Les Bridge||Tim Clark||2||59kg||105|
|2||412267040x||MIC MAC||Paul Messara||Adam Hyeronimus||6||59kg||101|
|3||01x63x2212||UNANIMOUSLY||Matthew Dale||Josh Adams||4||58.5kg||100|
|4||1x531557x0||ZARATONE||Bjorn Baker||Ms Kathy O’Hara||10||58.5kg||100|
|5||x48518928x||HIDDEN WARRIOR||Gordon Yorke||Joshua Parr||11||58kg||99|
|6||81135x68x1||TESTARHYTHM||Benjamin Smith||Brenton Avdulla||8||57kg||97|
|7||10x787216x||THE PEAK||Bart & James Cummings||Jim Cassidy||3||56.5kg||96|
|8||55×6229513||HURRARA||Garry Frazer||Jason Collett||9||56kg||95|
|9||x14625311x||TERRITORY||Jarrod Austin||Jeff Lloyd||7||56kg||95|
|10||262×353521||KNEELING||Peter G Moody||Ms Linda Meech||12||54kg||95|
|11||1245×72733||BARBED||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton (a)||5||54kg||90|
|12||8224123472||RECOINAGE||Joseph Pride||Jay Ford||1||54kg||90|