Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra’s in-form four-year-old Pillar Of Creation is one of the top fancies accepted for the All Victorian Sprint Series Final 2014 at Flemington Racecourse this weekend.
One of four stakes features on the Flemington Finals Day program, this year’s $150,000 Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) runs as Race 4 at 2:25pm on Saturday.
There are 10 sprinters engaged for the lucrative black-type including local God’s Own gelding Pillar Of Creation.
Stepping up to stakes company for the first time since their second in the Listed ANZAC Day Stakes (1410m) back in April of 2012, they come off a string of impressive runs this time in finishing in the money in all four of their starts.
They’ve won their past two on the trot over 1200m and 1400m respectively in Melbourne including their last start victory over First Course at Caulfield on July 5.
Also shooting for their third straight win is John Sadler’s Artie Schiller mare Vain Queen.
The rising five-year-old beat a field of her own kind over 1200m at Moonee Valley on June 7 before a massive three and three quarter effort over the boys at Flemington a fortnight ago in Heat 8 of the series.
There she ran a smart 1:02.48 to beat The Thief (2nd) and Shanghai Warrior (3rd) with ease from barrier six carrying 54kg.
She’ll likely jump favourite again on Saturday then with Glen Boss to ride her form barrier eight even though she goes up to 56.5kg.
While The Thief is not accepted for the final, Cranbourne’s Pat Hyland has accepted for Shanghai Warrior who has drawn nicely in barrier three with Ben Melham to replace Michael Rodd.
The Elvstroem gelding couldn’t get within six lengths of Vain Queen last start, and while their chances of turning the tables look slim, Hyland said they wouldn’t run away from her or the challenge.
The top weight of the All Victorian Sprint Final field this year meanwhile with a hefty 60kg is the Peter Moody-trained Ready To Rip jumping from barrier seven with Luke Nolen aboard.
The More Than Ready six-year-old is out to break a lengthy winning drought not having won a race since March last year.
They were a credible fifth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide two back and come off a seventh over this track and distance in the Listed The Straight Six from May 24 where they carried 59.5kg.
The second heaviest weighted with 59kg is then the Mick Price-trained Le Bonsir (barrier five) who comes off better form.
The Choisir gelding was runner-up in The Straight Six but has had two subsequent runs.
They were fourth to Pillar Of Creation when beaten just half a length on June 21 before a second behind runaway winner Lord Of The Sky in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield just last Saturday.
Other notable hopes then include Adelaide raider Nearest To Pin coming off a devastatingly close second to Pillar Of Creation at the Valley and Brett Cavanough’s undefeated Corsica Lad who has won their opening two starts this winter.
Check out the complete All Victorian Sprint Final 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below.
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2014 All Victorian Sprint Series Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 4 (2:25pm) – 12/07/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||166x3x4557||READY TO RIP||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7||60kg||102|
|2||407×253242||LE BONSIR||Mick Price||Daniel Moor||5||59kg||100|
|3||110560×989||BROKEN||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||1||57.5kg||97|
|4||x7017x2311||PILLAR OF CREATION||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||2||57kg||96|
|5||100x498x23||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||Ben Melham||3||56.5kg||95|
|6||111x1x4611||VAIN QUEEN||John Sadler||Glen Boss||8||56.5kg||99|
|7||8×32363142||NEAREST TO PIN||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||–||10||55kg||92|
|8||1114x0x50x||KOE (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Dwayne Dunn||6||54kg||85|
|10||11||CORSICA LAD||Brett Cavanough||Craig Newitt||9||54kg||66|