The Group 3 Lee Steere Classic (1400m) is one of four Group races running on Saturday at Ascot Racecourse in Perth.
Two of the nominated horses failed to accept for the race, leaving a final field of just 10 three-year-olds. The Vernon Brockman-trained Hobart Jones continues to lead the pack after drawing barrier seven with Ryan Hill set to ride.
Hobart Jones had a great autumn, winning the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) before scoring a minor placing in the Group 3 WA Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later. He was unlucky in the Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) last time out, carrying a hefty 60kg to finish sixth after getting trapped three wide for most of the race.
Brockman is confident that the set-weight conditions of the 2014 Lee Steere Classic will benefit the galloper however he will be sparingly raced after Saturday due to the 60kg weight he would procure in a handicap race.
The trainer is hopeful Hobart Jones can get some luck in running after drawing the wider barrier seven and not get stuck wide for too long. Seeing as he started from barrier seven (of 10) in the 2014 Placid Ark Stakes as well, it’s not hard to see why Brockman is fearful of a repeat performance. At least the gelding will carry three and a half kilos less in weights this time around.
Hobart Jones will have a chance at revenge on Saturday as Placid Ark Stakes winner Liberty’s Gem is set to jump from barrier three with Ben Melham as hoop.
Neville Parnham’s Dancing Express has opted to run in the Listed Aquanita Stakes (1800m) instead, leaving just Malibu Style for the trainer to saddle. The three-year-old gelding is set to jump from barrier six with Steven Parnham as rider, who has ridden the gelding in all five of his career starts.
Considering Malibu Style jumped from the widest gate in the Placid Ark Stakes last time out but still managed to finish just a shoulder off Liberty’s Gem in second place, his run on Saturday should be much better from barrier six.
The Sean Casey-trained Stocks will get the ideal start from barrier one with apprentice jockey Chris Parnham in the saddle. This will be the lightly run gelding’s first black-type race after racing in three maidens.
Eric Wake’s Cuanzo will have to overcome a wide start from barrier nine with Jarrad Noske in the saddle for the second consecutive time. This will be the widest start to date for the gelding who finished third in both the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) this campaign.
Outlaw Pete missed out on a placing in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) last time out by one length but will get a much better start in the Lee Steere Classic (barrier two instead of six) while Darren Mcauliffe’s Furious Dame will jump from barrier five with Ben Kennedy. The three-year-old filly is one of just two runners carrying the minimum weight of 54.5kg.
Check out the complete final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Lee Steere Classic below.
Betting markets for the race will open at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly so make sure your online betting account is ready to go.
2014 Lee Steere Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||11x3313x36||HOBART JONES||Vernon Brockman||Ryan Hill||7||56.5kg||76|
|2||113×4313||CUANZO||Eric Wake||Jarrad Noske||9||56.5kg||74|
|3||121||LIBERTY’S GEM||Simon A Miller||Ben Melham||3||56.5kg||70|
|4||211184||OUTLAW PETE||Trevor Andrews||Paul Harvey||2||56.5kg||70|
|5||3×1142||MALIBU STYLE||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||6||56.5kg||67|
|6||3x2516x68||MAXIMUS MAK (NZ)||Wally Mitchell||Patrick Carbery||10||56.5kg||66|
|7||2915||MISSISSIPPIAN||Ross & Clint Price||William Pike||8||56.5kg||62|
|8||442||STOCKS||Sean Casey||Chris Parnham (a)||1||56.5kg||61|
|9||174×2427||PRETE A PARTIR||Dion Luciani||Ms Jerry Noske (a)||4||54.5kg||67|
|10||4x0x2110||FURIOUS DAME||Darren Mcauliffe||Ben Kennedy||5||54.5kg||62|