The opening Group race of the two-day Newcastle Gold Cup Carnival is the Spring Stakes 2014 running this Wednesday where the John O’Shea-trained Sweynesse will be out to defend an undefeated record.
The Godolphin-owned Lonhro colt won on debut at Kembla Grange back in may before returning at Rosehill on August 30 to win a Benchmark 70 over 1400m in the wet.
Now this week he heads to Newcastle Racecourse as one of 11 final acceptors in the three-year-olds’ showdown, the $125,000 Group 3 Coca-Cola Spring Stakes (1600m) running as Race 6 on Wednesday at 4:05pm.
Drawn in barrier seven Sweynesse will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy as O’Shea chases back-to-back wins in the race following the success of his subsequent Group 2 winner and Group 1 performer Savvy Nature 12 months ago.
All going to plan this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival and McEvoy’s Spring Stakes mount will run in the $400,000 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11.
“Sweynesse is the sort of horse that is only going to get better as the races get longer,” McEvoy told The Sydney Morning Herald this week.
“I think 2000 metres will be his trip but he is good enough to win at mile.
“He gives the feel of really good horse with everything he does.”
Sweynesse is also one of three last-start winners in the Newcastle Spring Stakes field this year along with Sobriquet and High Above.
A barrier two draw sees Robert Pearse’s Street Sense gelding Sobriquet well positioned to make it two on the trot at the track after he thrived on a Heavy (10) course over 1500m on September 6 defeating Duccio by nearly four lengths.
High Above meanwhile comes from the Randwick stables of multiple Group 1 winning trainer Anthony Cummings and is another known mudlark.
The High Chaparral filly lapped up a bottomless Warwick Farm track on August 27 and broke her maiden status with a five length effort, James McDonald to replace Tye Angland in the saddle this week.
“She’s a high-class filly, her (debut) run here at Randwick was good, and that form has since been franked,” Cummings told The Daily Telegraph.
“This race works in quite nicely, especially for horses who aren’t quite sharp enough at that level over 1400m.
“I think the run over the mile before the Flight Stakes will stand her in good stead.
“From there we’ll look at the Caulfield Classic, which fits in nicely going towards the Wakeful Stakes.”
Also coming off nice lead up runs are the likes of the Peter Moody-trained Monteux (barrier five) who was runner-up to Hero I Am narrowly at Canterbury at the start of the month and local Arena gelding Rena’s Lad with the rails run from barrier one.
Gai Waterhouse and Chris Waller are both also represented in this year’s Spring Stakes field by Hampton Court and Idyllic Scenery respectively.
Redoute’s Choice colt Hampton Court was third to Sweynesse over the 1400m at Rosehill last time out with improvement expected on better ground, while Northern Meteor colt Idyllic Scenery comes off a first-up fourth in the same race which looks the form line to follow here.
See below for the full Newcastle Spring Stakes 2014 field, barriers and jockeys.
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2014 Newcastle Spring Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Newcastle Race 6 (4:05pm) – 17/09/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1×1||SWEYNESSE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||7||56.5kg||69|
|2||2710×83||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||6||56.5kg||65|
|3||318×4||IDYLLIC SCENERY||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||8||56.5kg||66|
|4||12||MONTEUX||Peter G Moody||Hugh Bowman||5||56.5kg||66|
|5||9x6137x95||LORD BECKWORTH||Paul Perry||Sam Clipperton||3||56.5kg||64|
|6||47×122||RENA’S LAD||Jason Deamer||TBA||1||56.5kg||55|
|7||8441||SOBRIQUET||Robert Pearse||Mitchell Bell||2||56.5kg||62|
|8||14||HE’S A GIVEN||Clarry Conners||TBA||4||56.5kg||62|
|9||56×42||POUNAMU||Allan Denham||Blake Shinn||11||56.5kg||60|
|10||35||TURBO STREET||Tony McEvoy||Glyn Schofield||9||56.5kg||58|
|11||31||HIGH ABOVE||Anthony Cummings||James McDonald||10||54.5kg||68|