One of the richest races held in Melbourne this weekend is the sales-restricted 2015 Inglis Premier for two-year-olds, the field for the lucrative Sandown-Hillside showdown now out.
Fourteen juveniles make up the line-up for this year’s $250,000 RL 2YO Inglis Premier (1000m), which runs as Race 5 at 3:55pm (local) on Saturday.
Just under half the field have had a previous run with six non-debutants in the mix including two for Adelaide’s Tony McEvoy.
The Angaston-based horseman saddles up the first two in the field saddlecloth-wise with Manhattan Blues and Stoker drawn in barriers seven and four respectively.
Mark Zahra rides Manhattan Rain gelding Manhattan Blues who won on debut at Morphettville Parks on January 10 before a sixth last time out to the ill-fated Burnstone in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview for colts and geldings over 1000m at the Sandown track on Australia Day.
Stablemate Stoker has also had two starts but remains a maiden having finished second at Moonee Valley on December 27 behind the 2015 Golden Slipper-bound Headwater and third last start over 1000m in Adelaide a month later when under a length off the winner Certain Ellie.
Also with two final acceptors is Robbie Laing with Apoloboom and Stylemaker who have drawn at extreme opposite ends of the field with gates one and 14 respectively.
Vald Duric returns to the saddle of Kaphero colt Apoloboom who ran a distant ninth just under nine lengths off the winner Mihalic on debut at Flemington in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial (1000m) back in early October last year.
Stylemaker has Ben Melham replacing Chad Schofield, the Charge Forward filly running eighth to Blue Diamond fancy Fontiton on Cox Plate Day during the spring in the Inglis Banner.
She returned on January 26 at this track in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) and was again well beaten by the Robert Smerdon-trained Fontiton when 14th of 15 runners.
The other two top chances with previous experience under race conditions are then Kris Lees’ dual winner Moment Of Music and the promising Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka.
Chad Schofield rides Hinchinbrook filly Moment Of Music who shoots for her third win at career start number four this weekend.
All three of her starts have been at Scone so far including her first-up victory on January 23 that she’ll look to emulate in better company here.
Fellow filly Jameka, a daughter of Myboycharlie, has work to do from out wide in barrier 13 with Craig Williams riding but was impressive on debut back in December when three quarters of a length away second behind Parcel over 900m at Bendigo.
As for the unraced hopes in the field the better types look to include Keen Array (barrier 11) for David Hayes & Tom Dabernig and of course the Robbie Griffiths-trained Deja Blue.
Griffiths sadly lost his headline contender for the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), run at Caulfield on February 28, on Wednesday morning when BD Preview winner Burnstone died from a suspected heart attack at track work.
Deja Blue is now his leading contender for the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival classic later this month, the Denman filly having won her January 29th trial over 800m at Cranbourne by two lengths.
She pays $21 in the latest Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and is the shortest priced of the Inglis Premier hopes followed by the aforementioned Keen Array ($26).
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2015 2YO Inglis Premier Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sandown Race 5 (3:55pm) – 07/02/2015
|1||16||MANHATTAN BLUES||Tony McEvoy||Mark Zahra||7||57kg||66|
|2||23||STOKER||Tony McEvoy||Damien Oliver||4||57kg||64|
|3||9x||APOLOBOOM||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||1||57kg||60|
|4||–||DARK ENSIGN||John Moloney||Damian Lane||5||57kg||–|
|5||–||KEEN ARRAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||11||57kg||–|
|6||–||PAY UP BRO||John Moloney||Luke Currie||12||57kg||–|
|7||–||THUNDER GUN||Dean Binaisse||Dwayne Dunn||3||57kg||–|
|8||21×1||MOMENT OF MUSIC||Kris Lees||Chad Schofield||2||55kg||65|
|9||4×0||STYLEMAKER||Robbie Laing||Ben Melham||14||55kg||61|
|10||2||JAMEKA||Ciaron Maher||Craig Williams||13||55kg||61|
|11||–||ANDRIOLI||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||8||55kg||–|
|12||–||DEJA BLUE||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||9||55kg||–|
|13||–||EOLANDE||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||James Winks||10||55kg||–|
|14||–||SHADOW WINGS||Mick Price||Dale Smith||6||55kg||–|