The $200,000 Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) saw its numbers drop from 14 to 10 when the final field was released on Wednesday.
Magnifisio continues to headline the 2014 AJ Scahill Stakes but it is Grant Williams’ Amorino who scored the ideal start from barrier one.
The five-year-old gelding won both the Listed Bunbury Stakes (1400m) and Listed Grandstand Cup (1500m) in the autumn but his summer campaign was less desirable. Finishing end of the field in both the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m), Amorino still managed to earn his place among the best in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 22.
He got a good start from barrier two and ran well to finish less than three lengths off the winner Elite Belle, however he still only finished in midfield (eighth of 16).
Amorino was already beaten by Magnifisio in the Lee Steere Stakes and the Jim P Taylor-trained mare has the weight advantage of 57kg on Saturday (two kilograms less than most of the field).
Magnifiso has scored a good start from barrier three as she aims to make it three from four this campaign.
The five-year-old mare missed out on a placing in the Prince Of Wales Stakes by less than a short neck-head before buckling down and winning both the Lee Steere Stakes and Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
She managed to beat some of the top eastern-based horses in the Winterbottom Stakes despite starting from barrier 10 so there’s no telling how well the mare will go from barrier three in the AJ Scahill Stakes.
Daniel Morton’s Watermans Bay finished just a quarter of a length off Magnifisio in the Winterbottom Stakes last time out but will need to overcome a wide start from barrier eight on Saturday. At least he’ll have the assistance of champion hoop Tommy Berry in the saddle to help him.
Simon A Miller will continue to deliver a dual-pronged attack on the race after accepting for both Senhor Da Gama and Platinum Rocker.
Eight-year-old Senhor Da Gama hasn’t been seen on the track since December 2011 when he finished third in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) and will jump wide from barrier nine while Platinum Rocker, who finished second last in the Railway Stakes, will jump from barrier five.
Grant Williams will also have double the luck in the AJ Scahill Stakes. As well as running favourite Magnifisio, the trainer will saddle Antique Belle who won the Listed Jungle Mist Classic (1200m) last time out. The mare will jump from barrier six with William Pike in the saddle.
Check out the full 2014 AJ Scahill Stakes final field and barrier draw below to get a comprehensive idea of the race.
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2014 AJ Scahill Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||44212×7662||WATERMANS BAY||Daniel Morton||Tommy Berry||8||59kg||102|
|2||111211×668||AMORINO||Grant Williams||Douglas Whyte||1||59kg||102|
|3||2x1211x324||TESTAMEZZO||Daniel Pearce||Peter Knuckey||4||59kg||89|
|4||8641126056||EXPRESS SERVICE||Darren Mcauliffe||Ben Kennedy||2||59kg||87|
|5||5x6257x878||KALAHAAR||Steve Wolfe||Shaun Mc Gruddy||7||59kg||90|
|6||4x13115x15||CROWN LAWYER||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||10||59kg||82|
|7||014142123x||SENHOR DA GAMA||Simon A Miller||Jason Whiting||9||59kg||88|
|8||11x114x411||MAGNIFISIO||Jim P Taylor||Chris Parnham (a)||3||57kg||110|
|9||2x3350x530||PLATINUM ROCKER||Simon A Miller||Shaun O’Donnell||5||57kg||101|
|10||622×350341||ANTIQUE BELLE||Grant Williams||William Pike||6||57kg||83|