A small yet classy field of just seven three-year-old fillies will run in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday following the field and barrier draw this morning.
Chris Waller’s Amicus has already been scratched from the race in favour of the Group 2 Light Finger Stakes (1200m) in Sydney, despite scoring the inside jump from barrier one.
The Kevin Hayes Stakes is one of eight races running in support of the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) this weekend, marking the official beginning of autumn racing in Melbourne.
All but two of the fillies running in the race are resuming on Saturday, including Fontein Ruby and Afleet Esprit.
Robert Smerdon’s Fontein Ruby had a busy campaign at the end of the last year, running straight through from July to November with eight starts. The filly stepped up to Group level racing for the first time in October, winning the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) back-to-back.
Fontein Ruby couldn’t find the placings her next time out in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and dropped right out of the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 6, finishing dead last.
Running on Saturday for the first time since finishing last in the Crown Oaks, Fontein Ruby will jump from the outside gate with Mark Zahra to ride. She will carry the top weight of 58.5kg along with Afleet Esprit.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained filly won both the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes and Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) during the spring but did not enjoy the 1600 metre trip in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas, in which she finished second last.
Afleet Esprit will enjoy an inside jump from barrier two in the Kevin Hayes Stakes with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Other fillies resuming on Saturday include Gerald Ryan’s Lucky Raquie, Thousand Guineas third Sabatini who will jump from barrier one, and Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) minor placer Thinking Of You.
The two runners who will have fitness on their side in Saturday’s race are Royal Snitzel and Boundary.
The Mick Price-trained Royal Snitzel has finished in the first two in all four of her starts and won a Benchmark 70 at Moonee Valley on January 24. The filly will enjoy a jump from barrier three with Dale Smith while Boundary will jump from barrier five with Brad Rawiller.
Check out the complete 2015 Kevin Hayes Stakes field and barrier draw below. Betting markets for the race will open at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly so make sure your betting account is ready to bet with.
New customers will receive a $250 bonus match on their first bet when they quote code: BETBONUS.
2015 Kevin Hayes Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x31151160x||FONTEIN RUBY Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||8||58.5kg||92|
|2||6x121119x||AFLEET ESPRIT Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damien Oliver||3||58.5kg||92|
|3||316x3221x||AMICUS Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||1||57.5kg||103|
|4||3x61580x4x||LUCKY RAQUIE||Gerald Ryan||Chad Schofield||7||57.5kg||78|
|5||211353x||SABATINI||Lee & Shannon Hope||Nicholas Hall||2||57.5kg||88|
|6||112×1||ROYAL SNITZEL||Mick Price||Dale Smith||4||56.5kg||78|
|7||113x||THINKING OF YOU (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5||56kg||76|
|8||12351||BOUNDARY||Heath Conners||Brad Rawiller||6||56kg||70|