12 nominated for 2014 McKenzie Stakes

A less-than capacity field of 12 colts and geldings has been confirmed for this weekend’s Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse, highlighted by several exciting Spring Carnival prospects.

John O'Shea and Godolphin will be represented by leading chance Orujo in the 2014 McKenzie Stakes

John O'Shea and Godolphin will be represented by leading chance Orujo in the 2014 McKenzie Stakes. Photo: Daniel Costello

Yet to taste anything but success since debuting to racing in March, trainer Mike Moroney has confirmed Merion in the final field for the 2014 McKenzie Stakes.

Charging home to win the First Light Racing Handicap (1300m) on debut in Bendigo on March 27th, Merion more than stamped his claims as one to watch when repeating the dose in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1410m) last time out on April 25th.

Included in early nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and featured Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in October, Moroney is confident Merion’s class will count for a lot in this weekend’s McKenzie Stakes, and is expecting another polished performance from the three-year-old.

Godolphin has also been confirmed to be represented in the 2014 McKenzie Stakes, with trainer John O’Shea accepting a position in the final field for classy sprinter Orujo.

Running on from the rear of the field to finish fifth amongst classy competition in the Flemington Equine Clinic Plate (1000m) on debut in November, Orujo returned to racing in exceptional form through the 2014 Autumn Carnival, finishing second in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) first-up before breaking through for a maiden race win in the Spirit Sponsors & Members 2.y.o Maiden (1100m) on February 22nd.

Returning to the paddock after finishing a close second in the Listed St Albans Stakes (1200m), beating the likes of subsequent Golden Slipper third Bring Me The Maid, the Exceed And Excel colt charged home to comfortably win the Lister BM70 (1000m) first-up at Sandown on August 6th and finds the McKenzie Stakes in great condition.

Yet to finish worse than second in three competitive starts, co-trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig are confident Petrology can return to racing in typically strong and consistent form this time in.

Winning the A Positive Mood Handicap (1200m) on debut in late March, the Fastnet Rock colt was unlucky to finish second to Pressing by a short nose in the Mindy Green 2.y.o Plate (1200m) on April 12th before again finishing off the pace of the talented Mick Price-trained colt in the Listed Mt Dandenong Stakes (1200m) most recently on May 3rd.

Carrying winning form into the 2014 McKenzie Stakes, Peter Moody-trained three-yea-old Caveka is offered an excellent opportunity to continue his perfect race record this weekend, allocated the ideal barrier 1 and confirmed to be partnered by notable jockey Vlad Duric.

Winning the Geelong Cup Packages Plate (1200m) by more than three lengths in his only race start to date, the Written Tycoon gelding is yet to have a racing path confirmed through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but is sure to stamp his claims as a legitimate contender if successful in the McKenzie Stakes.

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2014 McKenzie Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 11x MERION (NZ) Michael Moroney Steven Arnold 11 56.5kg 71
2 5x212x1 ORUJO John O’Shea Nicholas Hall 10 55kg 71
3 122x PETROLOGY David Hayes & Tom Dabernig Damien Oliver 4 55kg 67
4 25×531 TUDOR Doug Harrison Craig Williams 8 55kg 66
5 5x96x12 CORAM Leon & Troy Corstens Chris Symons 6 55kg 65
6 44×4327 TURFANE Saab Hasan Damian Lane 5 55kg 63
7 12 FAST CASH Wendy Kelly Daniel Moor 9 55kg 64
8 960×1 ARMAGEDDON ON IT Chris Calthorpe Ryan Maloney 7 55kg 62
9 7×1 BELFLYER John Moloney Patrick Moloney (a) 12 55kg 63
10 1 CAVEKA Peter G Moody Vlad Duric 1 55kg 63
11 3x RICH ENUFF Ken Keys Dwayne Dunn 2 55kg 63
12 1 SOVEREIGN DUKE Lloyd Kennewell Craig Newitt 3 55kg 62


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