After being allocated 60kg for the WJ Healy Stakes 2014, Howmuchdoyouloveme has been accepted into the field for Saturday to defend their title in the Tattersall’s Tiara Day showdown.
Last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Written Tycoon gelding Howmuchdoyouloveme, who is now back with the notorious Con Karakatsanis, won the $175,000 Group 2 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) carrying 60kg.
Not having won a race since, the now five-year-old has been allocated the same weight this year as they look to become the first dual WJ Healy Stakes winner in history.
Their acceptance was in doubt earlier in the week with Karakatsanis concerned over what weight they would be allocated after they had 61kg for their first-up run a fortnight ago at Eagle Farm.
They struggled under those kilos in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) running seventh to the winner Cape Kidnappers (56.5kg) in an effort their trainer is hoping they can bounce back from here with Nash Rawiller replacing Blake Shinn in the saddle.
Lightning Handicap winner Cape Kidnappers meanwhile also backs up in the WJ Healy Stakes field going up one and a half kilos to 58kg.
Kelly Schweida’s Commands six-year-old shoots for their third on the trot having also won the Listed Chief De Beers (1100m) two back, Damian Browne retaining his association after guiding them to victory in both their lead-up wins.
Following the top two in the WJ Healy Stakes field and weights is then Excellantes (57.5kg), Rob Heathcote’s Falvelon gelding to jump from barrier seven with Tim Bell aboard.
Excellantes won a 1200m Black Type handicap at Eagle Farm with this weight in April before a disappointing 11th with 59kg on May 10 in the Bribie Handicap.
They had 59kg again in the Chief De Beers last time out and ran an improved third and so can be right up there in the finish again on Saturday with less weight and a bit of freshness back in their legs after a month out.
The horses that ran second and third behind Cape Kidnappers in the Lighting Handicap meanwhile are both also running on Saturday.
Runner-up Big Money hails from Scone, the Rodney Northam-trained Choisir four-year-old having won back-to-back sprints in New South Wales before their Queensland debut two weeks back.
They get in on the 54kg minimum again here but have the outside barrier to contend from.
Lighting Handicap third palcegetter Rocky King meanwhile jumps from barrier five with in-form apprentice hoop Tegan Harrison in the saddle, Harrison having come oh-so-close to a Group 1 win when her mount Temple Of Boom was nosed out of Stradbroke success by River Lad recently.
Other notable WJ Healy Stakes hopefuls then include the Desleigh Forster-trained Chief De Beers runner-up Adebisi who ran a below par 11th in the Lightning, John Thompson’s Redoute’s Choice seven-year-old Metallurgical who was fourth in both the Chief De Beers and Lighting, and Bennetta.
One of the top rides of the day for Tommy Berry, over from Hong Kong to partner Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m), Grahame Begg’s General Nediym mare Bennetta is a Group 1 performed four-year-old coming off a nice lead-up from May 31.
There she raced at Eagle Farm against the boys in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) finishing less than half a length off the winner Sacred Star, Begg hoping to bag her a Black Type win here after turning up the chance to run her in the Tiara at weight-for-age.
The full WJ Healy Stakes 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights are listed below.
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2014 W.J. Healy Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Eagle Farm Race 5 (2:30pm) – 21/06/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||115x2056x7||HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME||Con Karakatsanis||Nash Rawiller||3||60kg||105|
|2||121x12x711||CAPE KIDNAPPERS||Kelly Schweida||Damian Browne||6||58kg||101|
|3||6×30142103||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||Timothy Bell||7||57.5kg||100|
|5||x0x84080x6||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||Eddie Wilkinson||9||56.5kg||98|
|6||61211515×3||ROCKY KING||Tom Bourke||Tegan Harrison (a)||5||56kg||97|
|7||0x4380x363||BENNETTA||Grahame Begg||Tommy Berry||8||55kg||99|
|8||1421244145||SEEKING MORE||Kelso Wood||Glen Boss||1||54kg||93|
|9||676557×244||METALLURGICAL||John P Thompson||Ric McMahon||4||54kg||88|
|10||1x1122x112||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||10||54kg||85|