Mick Price’s Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan is the top-rated final acceptor for the Caulfield Autumn Classic 2015 on Blue Diamond Stakes Day this weekend in Melbourne.
The Manhattan Rain colt is one of 13 three-year-olds making up the field for this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Race-Tech Australia Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) that runs as Caulfield Race 4 at 3:15pm (AEDT) on Saturday.
Drawn in barrier nine for Brad Rawiller to ride the Australian Guineas and Australian Cup nominated grey is after his first win since taking out the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day during the spring last October.
This time in he improved on a first-up 11th of 12 runners in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) on Australia Day to cross a nice fourth behind San Nicasio in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago, Rawiller also aboard for that ride.
One better than Moonovermanhattan in the Autumn Stakes, third placed Fastnet Rock colt Firehouse Rock also backs up in the Autumn Classic this weekend.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained galloper was third to Fontein Ruby in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day before failing to run out the 2500m on November 1 when 11th in the Group 1 Victoria Derby.
He ran fifth first-up in a non-black type at Flemington on January 31 before the Autumn Stakes third leading into this weekend’s clash where he will jump from barrier 11 with Nicholas Hall in the saddle.
There are five last start winners in the mix meanwhile including the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained up-and-comer Minnesinger.
A nicely-bred son of Lonhro, the colt has won two of his four starts to date with wins at Kilmore over 1462m last month and over the Sandown mile on the Lakeside track on February 4.
He is up in grade here for his first stakes assignment but is in-form and drawn a treat in barrier three for jockey Dwayne Dunn.
Also draw well is the Mark Riley-trained Lucky Paddy who would have been scratched from the race had his disqualified trainer not been granted a reprieve from the VCAT extending until next Tuesday following his three year suspension for the cobalt saga.
Also coming off a win are Tony McEvoy’s High Chaparral colt Alpine Eagle (barrier six) who has won three from four to date, Norman Rules out wide in barrier 12 and the Wez Hunter-trained Pepperjack with the rails run from gate one.
Other higher rated hopes in the race include the Mark Kavanagh-trained Victoria Derby fifth placed Magicool in the outside gate for jockey Mark Zahra and Host gelding Hong Kong Captain coming off an Autumn Stakes fifth.
Check out the full Caulfield Autumn Classic 2015 field, barriers and jockeys below.
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2015 Autumn Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 4 (3:15pm) – 28/02/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x042710x04||MOONOVERMANHATTAN||Mick Price||Brad Rawiller||9||57kg||92|
|2||5x12155x8||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||Mark Zahra||13||57kg||78|
|3||231830×53||FIREHOUSE ROCK||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||11||57kg||75|
|4||1315||HONG KONG CAPTAIN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||10||57kg||75|
|5||1x3x11||ALPINE EAGLE||Tony McEvoy||Damien Oliver||6||57kg||70|
|6||9×431||NORMAN RULES||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Chris Parnham (a)||12||57kg||65|
|7||1586x||SAN PADRE||Michael Kent||Vlad Duric||5||57kg||67|
|8||040x1129x0||CHILL PARTY||Tom Hughes||Steven Arnold||8||57kg||69|
|9||9×45112||ZAHSPEED||Danny O’Brien||Chad Schofield||7||57kg||68|
|10||4×711||MINNESINGER||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Dwayne Dunn||3||57kg||67|
|11||6441||LUCKY PADDY||Mark Riley||Damian Lane||4||57kg||63|
|12||3321||PEPPERJACK||Wez Hunter||Jamie Mott||1||57kg||62|
|13||12×4||BETSY||Peter G Moody||Craig Williams||2||55kg||67|