Colin Little’s Caulfield Cup-bound mare Text’n Hurley is one of the topline acceptors for the Aurie’s Star Handicap 2014 at Flemington Racecourse this weekend.
A $34 chance pre-nomination stage at Ladbrokes.com.au to win October’s $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), the Hard Spun five-year-old features in a 13-horse field for Flemington Race 7 on Saturday.
This year’s $150,000 Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) is shaping up as a quality affair aided by the inclusion of Joe Pride’s Group 1 winning sprinter Tiger Tees and Group 2 winning mare Text’n Hurley.
Little has big spring plans for his mare who was last seen taking out the Sunline Stakes over the Moonee Valley mile on March 21, Text’n Hurley due to jump from barrier five on the weekend with Chad Schofield aboard.
She gets in on the minimum 54kg while the Aurie’s Star Handicap weights are led by the aforementioned Tiger Tees.
A non-acceptor to join their new stablemate Laser Hawk in their return in Sydney’s Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m), seven-year-old Tiger Tees is set to enjoy a softer track in Melbourne for their first-up appearance.
Winner of the Group 1 The Galaxy last season, their only poor run from an otherwise outstanding campaign was their seventh in the BTC Cup on May 10.
They’ve trialed well since but do have to handle the hefty 59.5kg on the weekend.
Second top weight with 58kg is then the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Crackerjack King also drawn wide out in gate 12.
The imported Shamardal seven-year-old hasn’t raced since a fifth to Little Mike in the 2012 Arlington Million Stakes in the USA two years ago, Hayes having had to delay their Australia debut for over 12 months due to injury.
They finally get the chance to run down under starting on Saturday with Hayes hoping they can develop into a genuine Cox Plate hope this spring.
Along with Text’n Hurley meanwhile there are two other last start winners in the mix with the Peter Moody-trained Sino Eagle coming off a Caulfield win over the distance on July 26 and David Bourne’s Seymour galloper Zamorar who missed a run at Moonee Valley last weekend.
“He had a tiny abcess on his hoof since he won at [Flemington], so the extra time meant we could treat him and he’s back to his best now,” Bourne told AAP this week.
Other notable hopes then include the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Pillar Of Creation with the inside alley who comes off a fifth in the All Victorian Sprint Final here last month and Pat Hyland’s in-form six-year-old Shanghai Warrior who ran third in that same race behind Nearest To Pin.
See below for the full Aurie’s Star Handicap 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2014 Aurie’s Star Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 7 (3:50pm) – 09/08/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||80x191437x||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Damien Oliver||8||59.5kg||107|
|2||10x1x1155x||CRACKERJACK KING (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||12||58kg||104|
|3||x0x294x0x1||ZAMORAR||David Bourne||Ms Katelyn Mallyon (a)||2||55kg||98|
|4||7017×23115||PILLAR OF CREATION||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||1||54kg||96|
|5||00x498x233||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||Ben Melham||9||54kg||95|
|7||10x632121x||TEXT’N HURLEY||Colin Little||Chad Schofield||5||54kg||92|
|8||526363154x||ROAD TRIPPIN’||Stephen Theodore||Stephen Baster||6||54kg||89|
|9||960900x0x2||MR CHARD||Tony McEvoy||Nicholas Hall||7||54kg||88|
|10||96x21136x1||SINO EAGLE||Peter G Moody||Ms Linda Meech||11||54kg||86|
|11||409×152676||GRAND EMPEROR||Saab Hasan||Dwayne Dunn||10||54kg||78|
|12||52722360×3||SMACKDOWN (NZ)||Andrew Benyan||Jason Benbow||13||54kg||78|
|13||x0239x1493||CREAMERY LANE||Andrew Benyan||Craig Newitt||3||54kg||60|