John O’Shea’s Victoria Derby bound young gun Sweynesse is the headline final acceptor for Saturday’s 2014 Spring Champion Stakes field in Sydney.
The latest elite level of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, the $400,000 Group 1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) attracted a below capacity field of nine acceptors this year.
With two dominant three-year-olds, one from each sex, in the mix it seems the bulk of possible acceptors have been scared away.
Leading the field and likely favourite is the undefeated Sweynesse for Godolphin.
Drawn in barrier three with Blake Shinn to ride, the nicely bred Lonhro colt has won all four of his starts to date including three on the trot this time in.
His latest two have been in Group 3 company including a one length effort over Diamond Valores in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 27 ahead of his Randwick debut on Saturday.
Sweynesse is heading towards the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 1 and is the current $10 second pick in the futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Melbourne Cup Carnival classic.
The other headliner who will be battling Sweynesse for favouritism in the Spring Champion Stakes odds at Ladbrokes is then the John Thompson-trained filly First Seal.
Drawn one outside of her major rival in barrier four with Jason Collett riding, the classy daughter of Fastnet Rock has won three of her five career runs including her past two straight.
Two back she defeated Winx (2nd) and Blue Diamond winner Earthquake (3rd) in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) here at Randwick before her step up to Group 1 level last Saturday.
She was successful at the track again there in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) with Shinn aboard who comes off to ride the colt on Saturday.
The only other filly taking on the boys in this year’s Spring Champion Stakes is then the Lee Curits-trained Press Report with the rails run form barrier one who comes off a Flight Stakes fourth.
Gai Waterhouse has two chances in the race on Saturday saddling up Valentia in barrier five and Hampton Court in seven.
Fastnet Rock colt Valentia ran third last time out behind Shooting To Win in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and has a great record at Randwick (5-2-0-2).
Hampton Court meanwhile has Josh Parr aboard on the weekend, the Redoute’s Choice colt last seen winning the Listed Dulcify Handicap (1600m) seven days ago on Saturday at Randwick.
Also coming off a nice lead-up preparation is the Allan Denham-trained Pounamu who Glyn Schofield will ride from gate two.
He ran second at Newcastle behind Sweynesse in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) two back by a narrow margin before finishing third again behind the same horse, who he faces for round three on the weekend, in the Gloaming Stakes which has produced six of the last 11 Spring Champion Stakes winners.
The Spring Stakes, which both Sweynesse and Pounamu come via, is the other key lead-up with three winners successful in the Group 1 on the back of the Newcastle race in the past 10 years.
The other headline Spring Champion Stakes hope meanwhile is the Paul Messara-trained Panzer Division, winner of the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) before a fifth to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 20.
See below for the full Spring Champion Stakes 2014 field, barriers and jockeys then visit Ladbrokes.com.au for all the weekend’s best betting odds and offers including a $500 bonus match bet when you first sign-up, deposit and use the code word SPRINGBONUS!
2014 Spring Champion Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 6 (4:10pm) – 11/10/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1×111||SWEYNESSE||John O’Shea||Blake Shinn||3||56.5kg||90|
|2||3110×353||VALENTIA||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||5||56.5kg||84|
|3||1215||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||Tye Angland||9||56.5kg||88|
|4||2710×8341||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||Joshua Parr||7||56.5kg||78|
|5||56×4223||POUNAMU||Allan Denham||Glyn Schofield||2||56.5kg||72|
|6||713||LIE DIRECT||Steve Englebrecht||Brenton Avdulla||8||56.5kg||62|
|7||13||DRUM ROLL||David Vandyke||Ms Kathy O’Hara||6||56.5kg||52|
|8||4×1211||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Jason Collett||4||54.5kg||103|
|9||x247x41674||PRESS REPORT||Lee Curtis||Ms Winona Costin (a)||1||54.5kg||75|