John O’Shea’s early Victoria Derby fancy Sweynesse heads a small field of three-year-olds facing off in the first at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday – the Gloaming Stakes 2014.
The unbeaten Lonhro colt was the headline nominee for the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in Victoria on November 1 when early entries for the Melbourne Cup Carnival classic closed yesterday.
He will continue his 2014 Victoria Derby campaign in Sydney though this weekend as the sure to be favourite for the $200,000 Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m).
Kicking off the Sydney racing action on Saturday as Race 1 at 12:40pm, this year’s Gloaming Stakes attracted just seven hopefuls with Sweynesse scaring off the bulk of his potential rivals.
Drawn in barrier seven with Kerrin McEvoy to ride, he has won all three of his starts so far most recently defeating Pounamu in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle in his first look at a mile on September 17.
McEvoy honours his ride on the Godolphin-owned Sweynesse despite the hoop announcing on Tuesday his split with the stable.
Spring Stakes runner-up Pounamu from the Wyong stables of Allan Denham also backs up in the Gloaming Stakes this weekend looking to turn the tables on his last start conqueror.
The Authorized gelding comes off back-to-back seconds and is also nominated for the Victoria Derby later this spring.
The highest rated of the Gloaming Stakes acceptors meanwhile is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Valentia.
Winner of the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) as a juvenile back in mid-March, Fastnet Rock colt Valentia is a dual nominee at the meeting having also been accepted for Saturday’s $200,000 Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) over less distance.
Which race Waterhouse will tackle with the up-and-comer, last seen running fifth to Panzer Division in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m), will be an eleventh hour call.
The other form galloper in Gloaming Stakes contention this year is then the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Diamond Valores in gate four with Blake Shinn in the saddle.
Kicking off his career with back-to-back wins at Canterbury in August over 1250m and 1550m respectively the Tavistock gelding was last seen stepping up over the 1600m at Warwick Farm on September 10 when second to Hollywood Bound in a Benchmark 70.
Scott Singleton’s improving Forbidden Jewel meanwhile is the sole filly taking on the boys in the Gloaming Stakes, the daughter of Fastnet Rock having run second to Diamond Valores last time out on August 20.
See below for the full Gloaming Stakes 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and set weights.
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2014 Gloaming Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 1 (12:40pm) – 27/09/2014
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||3110×35||VALENTIA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||6||56.5kg||81|
|2||1×11||SWEYNESSE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||7||56.5kg||78|
|3||112||DIAMOND VALORES (NZ)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||4||56.5kg||73|
|4||56×422||POUNAMU||Allan Denham||Hugh Bowman||2||56.5kg||70|
|5||18||ROAD TO SHANGRI LA (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||James McDonald||1||56.5kg||66|
|6||9x6137x958||LORD BECKWORTH||Paul Perry||Tye Angland||5||56.5kg||64|
|7||61×42||FORBIDDEN JEWEL||Scott Singleton||Corey Brown||3||54.5kg||66|