11 sprinters are set to run in the aptly festive Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Sandown Racecourse this Friday.
The $120,000 black-type race is one of eight events that make up the Boxing Day meeting on Friday, headlined by the Peter Moody-trained Ready To Rip.
While the seven-year-old gelding will carry the hefty top weight of 60kg, he has the advantage of jumping from barrier four with Vlad Duric in the saddle.
Ready To Rip hasn’t scored a win since the Listed Thoroughbred Club Cup (1200m) back in March 2013 – ten starts ago. The gelding just missed out on a placing in the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) and Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) during the autumn but failed to impress in the Tony Beddison Cup (1000m) on November 29, his only start this campaign.
The gelding was midfield on the fence at halfway before getting held up approaching the turn. He could only battle after that, finishing three lengths behind winner Kaiser Sun in tenth place.
Robbie Laing will deliver a triple-pronged attack on the race after accepting with Lord Of The Sky, Mr Make Believe, and Boomwaa. The trainer still needs to find jockeys for all three rides.
Four-year-old Lord Of The Sky scored the ideal inside run from barrier one, which will help the entire as he carries 59.5kg. While the horse won the Group 3 John Monash Stakes (1100m) back in July, he has unfortunately just missed out on a placing in his last three outings.
He missed out on the Bletchingly Stakes by three and a half lengths and both the United Refrigeration Handicap (1000m) and Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) by less than two lengths.
Mr Make Believe will jump from barrier five while Boomwaa will have to overcome a wide start from barrier 10, luckily the three-year-old gelding will carry the minimum weight of 54kg.
Eight-year-old Mr Make Believe was runner-up in the Doveton Stakes on December 6 before finishing fourth in the Red Tempo Handicap (1000m) on Saturday.
Check out the complete 2014 Christmas Stakes final field and barrier draw below to get a comprehensive guide of the race before the betting market opens at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2014 Christmas Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||3x4557x5x0||READY TO RIP||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||4||60kg||100|
|2||10x21144x4||LORD OF THE SKY||Robbie Laing||–||1||59.5kg||99|
|3||0302x142x9||GO THE KNUCKLE||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||8||58kg||96|
|4||4112818×45||TRIED AND TIRED||Leon & Troy Corstens||Chris Parnham (a)||11||56.5kg||93|
|5||4116x4670x||ANLON||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||6||56kg||92|
|6||3×22415272||SOLSAY||Michael Kent||Ms Jackie Beriman (a)||3||56kg||92|
|7||2531118×31||DANGER CLOSE||Jason Warren||Michael Walker||2||55.5kg||91|
|8||x4465x8924||MR MAKE BELIEVE||Robbie Laing||–||5||55.5kg||91|
|9||x12438x40x||SUMAKARAY||Brian Cox||Stephen Baster||9||54kg||87|
|10||x50203317x||SUCH HOPE||John Moloney||–||7||54kg||77|