The headline Brisbane Summer Racing Carnival race taking place this weekend is the 2014 Lough Neagh Stakes, the second leg of the summer sprint crown running at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday.
Due to jump as race seven at 4:42pm (local), this year’s $175,000 Listed Garrards Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) has attracted a dozen final acceptors.
The 12-horse field of middle-distance sprinters is led by the Rodney Northam-trained Scone raider Big Money drawn ideally in barrier six with the country’s most prolific winning jockey Robert Thompson in the saddle.
A consistent five-year-old boasting eight wins from 14 starts to date, Choisir gelding Big Money was last seen winning the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) at the track on December 6.
That gave him two Group 3 wins in Brisbane following a close victory in the W.J. Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm back in June, a record he’ll be out to add to this weekend as he goes up two kilos with the hefty 59.5kg top weight on Saturday.
Also coming via a top three run in the George Moore Stakes are runner-up Someday (barrier nine) for local horseman Tony Gollan and the Kelly Schweida-trained Cape Kidnappers with the outside barrier 12 draw to overcome this weekend.
Someday will be ridden by Tegan Harrison, replacing Tim Bell, for the rematch with the Falvelon six-year-old after his maiden win since a three-quarter length effort in the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) over the Doomben mile in December last year.
He’s had a number of setbacks over the past 12 months but has been racing well this time in and is on the improve, going up just half a kilo on his George Moore weight.
Cape Kidnappers follows Big Money in the Lough Neagh Stakes weights with 58kg, the same weight the veteran Commands seven-year-old had in the George Moore when beaten only 1.7 lengths.
Before that in the winter he recorded back-to-back Listed sprint wins at Doomben over Adebisi in the Chief De Beers and then Eagle Farm over Big Money in the Lightning Handicap before a second in the WJ Healy.
He’s second-up on Saturday after the George Moore third, improvement tipped despite the wide barrier.
Other notable George Moore Stakes graduates in the mix this weekend then include Kelso Wood’s fourth placegetter Into the Red, fifth past the post Riva De Lago for Robert Heathcote and seventh placed Time To Plunder.
Liam Birchley’s Holy Roman Emperor six-year-old Time To Plunder won the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) before his George Moore run and gets the rails run from barrier one with 55kg and Larry Cassidy riding this weekend.
Birchley has also accepted for his Show A Heart gelding Cum Dividend up in class for this after a Benchmark 85 Handicap win at Doomben on November 29 when carrying 56.5kg, two and a half kilos more than his Lough Neagh weight.
Other notable Lough Neagh Stakes hopes in the mix this summer include Rockhampton visitor Vandalised coming off back-to-back wins at home and Gollan’s other runner Whiskey Allround.
Tim Bell sticks with this flying All Bar One four-year-old who shoots for his fourth win on the trot and is drawn ideally in barrier two, the same gate he’s won his past two starts from at Doomben over the 1200m.
See below for the full Lough Neagh Stakes 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2014 Lough Neagh Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 7 (4:42pm) – 20/12/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x11211x491||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||6||59.5kg||104|
|2||x12x7112x3||CAPE KIDNAPPERS||Kelly Schweida||Damian Browne||12||58kg||101|
|3||9x709x6865||RIVA DE LAGO||Robert Heathcote||Jeff Lloyd||3||57.5kg||100|
|4||36910x4x42||SOMEDAY||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison||9||57kg||99|
|5||1×69962217||TIME TO PLUNDER||Liam Birchley||Larry Cassidy||1||55kg||95|
|6||99013166×4||FERMENT||John Pointon||Jason Taylor||4||54kg||90|
|7||1411118×11||VANDALISED||Jamie McConachy||Brad Stewart||7||54kg||90|
|8||24x090x111||WHISKEY ALLROUND||Tony Gollan||Timothy Bell||2||54kg||89.5|
|9||9361220×31||CUM DIVIDEND||Liam Birchley||Travis Wolfgram (a)||5||54kg||89|
|10||4412x1322x||HARADA BAY||John, Dan & Chris Meagher||Michael Cahill||8||54kg||89|
|11||20x5200x64||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood||Jim Byrne||10||54kg||85|
|12||1441×1115||ABADDON (NZ)||Paul H Duncan||Ric McMahon||11||54kg||80|