Fourteen horses have declared for the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) running at Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday, after the final field & barrier draw was released Wednesday.
Headlining the 2014 Moonga Stakes field is the Natalie McCall-trained River Lad.
The seven-year-old gelding enjoyed wins in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) and Group 1 Stradbroke (1400m) during the Brisbane Winter Carnival but missed out on a minor placing in his sole spring run – the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) – by just a neck.
He has drawn wide in barrier 12 for the Moonga, which champion jockey Damien Oliver will need to overcome. However his Straddie win came from a similarly wide draw, so a win isn’t out of reach just yet.
Wez Hunter’s Smokin’ Joey won the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) back in May then followed much the same course as River Lad, running in the Stradbroke and Gilgai Stakes. However the gelding failed to impress, finishing eighth in both races.
He will enjoy a start from barrier four on Saturday with Ben Melham in the saddle.
The Ron Leemon-trained Manawanui will also start wide in his second Moonga Stakes after drawing barrier 10. However he’ll be partnered with Tye Angland, who brought him home in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) for a last-start win.
The gelding finished eighth last year, despite enjoying the inside run. It capped off a disappointing spring campaign that included a last place in the Group 2 Bowermans Shorts (1100m).
After exactly 11 months off, he returned in great form to win the Bill Ritchie and will want to amend his form in the Moonga Stakes.
Final Crescendo, third to Chautauqua in the Gilgai, will enjoy the inside run after drawing barrier one with Craig Newitt to ride.
Godolphin will be dually represented by the John O’Shea-trained duo Generalife and Limes.
Check out the complete final field & barrier draw below to help you make an informed choice.
2014 Moonga Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 5 – 18/10/2014
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||4x12x711x4||RIVER LAD||Natalie McCall||Damien Oliver||12||59.5kg||110|
|2||0x803618x8||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Ben Melham||4||59.5kg||106|
|3||0x50x098x1||MANAWANUI||Ron Leemon||Tye Angland||10||57.5kg||104|
|4||515541×107||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||6||57.5kg||103|
|5||00x000x322||LUCKY HUSSLER||Darren Weir||Glen Boss||13||57.5kg||95|
|6||112x11212x||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3||57.5kg||102|
|7||1222x417x9||LIMES||John O’Shea||Steven Arnold||7||56.5kg||100|
|8||x3713111x4||GENERALIFE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||14||56.5kg||102|
|9||3118431321||UNDER THE LOUVRE||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||8||56.5kg||96|
|10||x350x1211x||ADMIRE INAZUMA (JPN)||Tomoyuki Umeda||Zac Purton||2||56kg||90|
|11||x90x80629x||MUTUAL TRUST (GB)||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||Craig Williams||11||56kg||100|
|12||x11412x013||FINAL CRESCENDO||David Kelly||Craig Newitt||1||56kg||92|
|13||x316533x30||RYKER||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||9||56kg||86|
|14||310x4x780x||RAIZAN (JPN)||Yoshito Yahagi||Christophe Lemaire||5||56kg||70|