Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller has a stranglehold over the Apollo Stakes 2015 field at Randwick Racecourse this Saturday saddling up six of the final 15 acceptors in the weight-for-age clash.
It is shaping up as a star-studded edition of this year’s $250,000 Group 2 Optus Apollo Stakes (1400m) with the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaigns of some exciting gallopers taking place.
Three of Waller’s contingent are first-up in the Apollo Stakes including He’s Your Man, the French import drawn in gate seven with Blake Shinn to ride.
Winner of the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) over the Randwick mile in October, Cape Cross six-year-old He’s Your Man was last seen running second to Happy Trails in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
He comes off a second in a February 3 trail at Rosehill over 1030m but was defeated over 13 lengths in the hit-out by Apollo Stakes rival Red Excitement.
Also resuming for four-time premiership winner Waller are Underwood Stakes winning veteran Foreteller (barrier five) and Melbourne Cup failure Junoob (barrier 11).
Those running second-up for the stable are then Hawkspur, Boban and Weary who ran ninth, 11th and first respectively in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on January 31.
Expressway Stakes winner Weary narrowly defeated Driefontein by a nose a fortnight ago and will be improving over the extra metres on the weekend but does have a wide barrier 13 draw for he and jockey Tommy Berry to overcome.
Two other last start winners are engaged in the Apollo Stakes field this year with the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Ninth Legion, and Gerald Ryan’s in-form flyer Red Excitement drawn wide in barriers 15 and 14 respectively.
Fastnet Rock five-year-old Ninth Legion resumed on January 24 and scored a tidy victory in the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) on the same track and distance he sees for the Apollo Stakes where he faces a stronger field of rivals.
Red Excitement meanwhile shoots for a sixth win on the trot and his third this time in, the Excites gelding last seen taking out the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on January 17 before his barnstorming trial win over He’s Your Man at the start of the month.
As for the mares there are two very imposing ones worth noting here jumping side-by-side in barriers eight and nine with Silent Achiever and Lucia Valentina both kicking off their latest campaigns.
Kerrin McEvoy was the regular rider on the latter during the spring but jumps aboard the Roger James-trained Kiwi raider Silent Achiever here.
The six-year-old daughter of O’Reilly was last seen running third to Adelaide in the Cox Plate in Melbourne last October and boasts some strong Sydney form from last autumn.
While she’s never won over 1400m or at Randwick, at Rosehill she proved a force to be reckoned with taking out the Ranvet Stakes – The BMW double defeating some very tough rivals.
Another multiple Group 1 winner, the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina looks terrific ahead of her campaign with Hugh Bowman to ride the Savabeel four-year-old after her second win over the 1400m at Randwick.
She did it in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes last September before going on to win the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington and run third in the Caulfield Stakes, and that was on a Heavy-rated track so any rain between now and Saturday will suit.
See below for the full Apollo Stakes 2015 field, barriers and jockeys.
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2015 Apollo Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 6 (4:15pm) – 14/02/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||170x4559x9||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||2||59kg||113|
|2||89x431850x||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||5||59kg||113|
|3||40x313112x||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||7||59kg||110|
|4||x7514080x0||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||10||59kg||108|
|5||43x861D70x||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||11||59kg||108|
|6||2132x560x1||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||13||59kg||108|
|7||385x7334x1||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Sam Clipperton||15||59kg||105|
|8||24x131x18x||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||6||59kg||104|
|9||4x23111x11||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||TBA||14||59kg||103|
|10||40x53480x5||MALAVIO||Steve Englebrecht||Christian Reith||3||59kg||101|
|11||49x405143x||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||4||59kg||97|
|12||1114x4593x||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Kerrin McEvoy||8||57kg||116|
|13||013x16130x||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||9||57kg||111|
|14||58141x879x||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||1||57kg||106|
|15||123x35150x||QUEENSTOWN||Gai Waterhouse||Paul King||12||57kg||101|
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