A field of 14 runners has been confirmed for Saturday’s Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens, led by Brisbane top miler Epic.
The seven-year-old will travel to Sydney for the first time since 2009, following three wins at Doomben this season. He’s been offered an excellent chance as he finally steps in class to tackle Sydney’s spring carnival, having drawn barrier 5.
The Kelly Schweida-trained miler has found great success over 1600m and is rated one of the best horses at the metric mile produced in Brisbane for years. He’s won three of his four starts at Doomben this season. But after a long time running in handicap races, he may struggle in the Group 2 field.
Chris Waller has tripled his chance of success in the 2014 Shannon Stakes, having accepted a position in the final field for Vilanova (barrier 2), Rugged Cross (12), and Tougher Than Ever (3). With two of the three starting from ideal barriers, his job has been made a lot easier.
Joseph Pride’s Rock Sturdy has drawn the perfect start from barrier 1, partnered with Corey Brown who just tasted victory in the Group 2 Shorts (1100m) last Saturday. This will be the second partnership for Brown and Rock Sturdy, after finishing runner-up in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) on September 20.
Top entries Zephyron and Mr Chard will have to overcome tough barriers after drawing 11 and 13, respectively.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Zephyron found back-to-back success in May after taking out the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) and Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) within weeks of each other. The six-year-old has proved he can win at long distances, but his fifth place finish at Rosehill earlier this month in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) puts his shorter distance abilities into question.
There were four non-acceptors since the 18 nominations were drawn on Monday. The most notable of which was Cluster, who previously lead the 2014 Shannon Stakes entries.
Cluster has been in flying form of late, winning three of his past four starts which most recently included stepping back up in class for the Theo Marks. It would appear Peter and Paul Snowden are confident the colt is ready for the top class again as they have accepted a nomination for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on Sunday instead.
Cluster hasn’t raced in Group 1 company since a disappointing 10th when blocked for a run in the Caulfield Guineas last year and he has a lot of work ahead of him after drawing the outside barrier.
Check out the full 2014 Shannon Stakes field, barriers, jockeys, and weights below.
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2014 Shannon Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 6 – 27/09/2014
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||101x385x73||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||14||58.5kg||100|
|2||1x850113x5||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||11||58kg||99|
|3||x414211x66||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||4||57.5kg||102|
|4||x72451472x||MIDSUMMER SUN (GB)||Sam Kavanagh||Joshua Parr||8||56.5kg||96|
|5||0x00444114||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Anthony Allen||7||56kg||95|
|6||900x0x2216||MR CHARD||Tony McEvoy||Glyn Schofield||13||56kg||95|
|7||4123×21142||ROCK STURDY||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||1||56kg||95|
|8||1653413×68||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||–||2||55.5kg||94|
|9||2091472712||RUGGED CROSS (GB)||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||12||55kg||93|
|10||7×64982273||TOUGHER THAN EVER (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||3||55kg||93|
|11||13×4171011||EPIC||Kelly Schweida||Sam Clipperton||5||54.5kg||92|
|12||27x320x23x||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||10||53.5kg||90|
|13||44x15383x8||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||6||53kg||85|
|14||x3947223x0||LIBERTY’S CHOICE||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||9||53kg||84|