A final field of 12 middle distance runners will tackle the Listed Aquanita Stakes (1800m) at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday after Darren Mcauliffe failed to accept with Military Ruler.
Of the twelve confirmed three-year-olds running, Lou Luciani’s Tonto continues to lead after drawing barrier three with Jason Whiting to ride.
Tonto will carry 57.5kg in the 2014 Aquanita Stakes, which is up to three and a half kilos more than his rivals.
The three-year-old gelding has won four of his eight career starts but failed to place in the other four. He won two minor races first up this campaign before just missing out on a placing in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) by a quarter of a length on November 8. He then finished midfield in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m). Both times Tonto lost to Rommel and Disposition, who are squaring off in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on Saturday, which means his form line is strong.
Wally Mitchell’s Say Geronimo was third in the WA Guineas last time out and the three-year-old colt is set to jump from barrier eight with Patrick Carbery in the saddle.
While Mcauliffe failed to accept with Military Ruler, the trainer will be represented in the race by three-year-old filly Fo’ Shizzle who has scored the ideal inside run from barrier one with William Pike to ride. The filly won her maiden in October before scoring her second career win in the Great Southern Waste Handicap (1700m) last time out.
She is one of three horses carrying the minimum weight of 54kg, along with Dancing Express and Better Romance.
The Neville Parnham-trained Dancing Express was accepted for the Aquanita Stakes over the Group 3 Lee Steere Classic (1400m) but will need to overcome a wide start from barrier 11 with Brad Parnham in the saddle. The three-year-old finished runner-up in the Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) on November 15 before failing to place in the main event WA Guineas one week later.
Dion Luciani’s Better Romance meanwhile has drawn barrier four with ben Paterson to ride. The lightly-run filly won her maiden last time out.
Check out the full 2014 Aquanita Stakes final field and barrier draw below.
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2014 Aquanita Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||5611×1146||TONTO||Lou Luciani||Jason Whiting||3||57.5kg||73|
|2||110×2369||PALACE INTRUDER||Trevor Andrews||Tommy Berry||9||57kg||67|
|3||13×2353||SAY GERONIMO (NZ)||Wally Mitchell||Patrick Carbery||8||56kg||68|
|4||x937323319||TOPPA DAWOZZA||Gary Crispin||Shaun O’Donnell||2||56kg||64|
|5||3410×74641||BRECKENRIDGE||Craig Wright||Ms Natasha Faithfull (a)||6||56kg||–|
|6||443×452||BOOM TIME||Trevor Andrews||Paul Harvey||12||56kg||61|
|7||51||ORRIGHT||Daniel Morton||Douglas Whyte||10||56kg||63|
|8||32121×4058||TOP SHOW||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||5||55.5kg||68|
|9||22122×6980||KEYSBROOK||Phil Humann||Peter Knuckey||7||55kg||66|
|10||1462×95527||DANCING EXPRESS||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||11||54kg||69|
|11||55×21941||FO’ SHIZZLE||Darren Mcauliffe||William Pike||1||54kg||62|
|12||071||BETTER ROMANCE||Dion Luciani||Ben Paterson||4||54kg||58|