Leon & Troy Corsten’s former Thousand Guineas winner Commanding Jewel has come up trumps with barrier one for her much-awaited return in Saturday’s 2014 W.W. Cockram Stakes in Melbourne.
The daughter of Commands has been kept to just seven starts to date due to injury setbacks including a hoof issue suffered during track work that saw the now five-year-old miss the autumn.
Commanding Jewel however has finally made a full recovery and is set to race first-up at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend in the $150,000 Group 3 Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 1 Stakes (1200m) – registered as the Cockram Stakes.
Thirteen mares are engaged for the Memsie Stakes Day feature that serves as a nice lead-up to some of the better fillies-and-mares’ races of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival including the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Likely favourite in the Ladbrokes.com.au markets then after drawing the inside alley, Commanding Jewel is set to be ridden by Damien Oliver for her first run since winning the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last September.
Also resuming on Saturday are a number of other notable spring hopes including the Clarry Conners-trained Dear Demi with the outside barrier (13) and A Time For Julia in gate seven with Luke Nolen to ride.
Beaten three lengths by Commanding Jewel as a three-year-old in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at the track two years back, Conners’ Dehere mare Dear Demi went on that spring to take out the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) in a strong display of staying ability.
Her career has been hit and miss since however but highlights include a second to Royal Descent in last year’s Australian Oaks, an Underwood Stakes third to It’s A Dundeel, running third to Fawkner in last year’s Caulfield Cup and a second behind Side Glance in the Mackinnon Stakes during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
After a failed Melbourne Cup shot, Dear Demi failing to see out the two miles when 19th to Fiorente, she returned in the autumn and is out to atone for a number of poor runs that campaign.
A Group 3 winner at the track and distance, A Time For Julia meanwhile is one of two Cockram Stakes hopes for Peter Moody along with Sino Eagle.
Casino Prince five-year-old Sino Eagle, drawn in barrier 10 with Glen Boss to ride, is third-up this prep following a win against her own kind first-up here on July 26 before her last start fourth behind subsequent Warwick Stakes winner Tiger Tees in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) from August 9.
There is then just one last start winner in this year’s Cockram Stakes field with the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Gregers.
Jumping from gate eight with Craig Williams aboard on Saturday the Commands four-year-old was in flying form during the autumn running top four in three Group 1 events.
Most recent of those she was fourth behind upset winner Smokin’ Joey in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide on May 10 before her returning victory in the Australian Defence Force Handicap (1100m) here on August 16.
Also coming via that race is the Robert Smerdon-trained runner-up Members Joy looking to go one better when stepped up in company on Saturday.
Check out the full Cockram Stakes, known this year as the 2014 Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 1 Stakes, field and barriers below.
Then to lock in the guaranteed best odds on all the weekend’s spring lead-ups, including the Memsie Stakes where you will get your money back up to $50 as a bonus refund bet if your first fixed win bet runs second, head to our No. 1 trusted bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au!
2014 WW Cockram Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 7 (4:00pm) – 30/08/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||8320x3008x||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Brad Rawiller||13||59kg||105|
|2||11231x61x||COMMANDING JEWEL||Leon & Troy Corstens||Damien Oliver||1||59kg||107|
|3||32x42434x1||GREGERS||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||8||58kg||102|
|4||x61129x0x6||SCANDIVA||Anthony Cummings||Craig Newitt||2||58kg||88|
|5||04x31107x6||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Glyn Schofield||4||57kg||103|
|6||350x12147x||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7||57kg||102|
|7||4135×51114||THIAMANDI||Lloyd Kennewell||Michael Rodd||6||57kg||96|
|8||11223121×7||FIVE ALL||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||12||57kg||90|
|9||220x4520x2||MEMBERS JOY||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||11||56kg||84|
|10||1311x428x||REAL SURREAL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3||55kg||94|
|11||2x00x3213x||HAZARD||Anthony Freedman||Nicholas Hall||5||55kg||91|
|12||6x21136x14||SINO EAGLE||Peter G Moody||Glen Boss||10||55kg||86|
|13||18x521034x||FOREVER LOVED (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||9||55kg||86|