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The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Golden Slipper winner Mossfun is back for her second start of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival in the Challenge Stakes 2015 at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The three-year-old Mossman filly has won four of her six career starts including the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) in the wet at Rosehill last April.
She spent a long time on the sidelines before coming back on February 14 at Randwick to run sixth, beaten three lengths by Adrift in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m).
Now the youngster is looking to improve on that run and return to form taking on the boys under weight-for-age conditions in the Group 2 Hyland Race Colours Challenge Stakes (1000m).
The event runs as Race 8 on the Randwick Guineas Day program and is due to jump at 4:50pm (AEDT).
Mossfun has drawn barrier six with Tommy Berry to ride and meets her rivals a minimum two kilos better in the weights on 54kg.
Only her and Snitzel mare Nuclear Lass have had a previous run for the season, all eight of their other rivals racing first-up in the Challenge Stakes.
To wear the number one saddlecloth is Noel Mayfield-Smith’s Elusive City six-year-old Famous Seamus in barrier five for Tim Clark, third in last year’s race as a 61/1 roughie behind Villa Verde.
Winner of the Group 2 Premier Stakes (1200m) at this track last October, the gelding hasn’t raced since a brave sixth to the world’s equal highest-rated sprinter Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington last November.
He was beaten only three and a quarter lengths in that hotly run race on the back of a third to Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Reigning Challenge Stakes winner Villa Verde is back to defend her title this weekend, Anthony Cummings’ Not A Single Doubt mare boasting a nice record when resuming of two wins and two seconds from five first-up runs.
Her latest start was a distant ninth to subsequent Darley Classic winner Terravista in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) over this track and distance on September 20, but she should be improving on that here.
Another notable hope and one of the best performed over Saturday’s distance is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Miracles Of Life.
The former Blue Diamond Stakes winning mare, now four, hasn’t raced since a disappointing seventh in the Group 3 GH Mumm Stakes (1100m) behind Vain Queen in Melbourne last Cup Carnival.
Before that however she won the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) over this distance to give her an 1100m record of three wins and two seconds from six starts.
She also runs well first-up with two from four to date, and was a nice third to Sweet Idea in a lead-up Randwick barrier trial over 800m late last month.
Other notable Challenge Stakes hopefuls include the Joe Pride-trained Commands seven-year-old Rain Affair, last year’s Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap third placegetter Knoydart, and Gerald Ryan’s three-year-old Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) winner in October Rubick.
Check out the full Challenge Stakes 2015 field, barriers and jockeys in the table below.
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2015 Challenge Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 8 (4:50pm) – 07/03/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||5190x3136x||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Tim Clark||5||58.5kg||110|
|2||136x090x3x||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Tye Angland||3||58.5kg||105|
|3||x11133250x||KNOYDART||John O’Shea||James McDonald||7||58.5kg||104|
|4||114540x25x||VA PENSIERO||Jason Coyle||Jason Collett||8||58.5kg||95|
|5||x62210x17x||MIRACLES OF LIFE||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||1||56.5kg||105|
|6||0x1384x69x||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||Blake Shinn||9||56.5kg||104|
|7||x21021x246||NUCLEAR CLASS||Tas Morton||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2||56.5kg||89|
|8||114x10x||RUBICK||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||4||56kg||103|
|9||26127x418x||SOLDI DOMANI||Bryan Dais||Larry Cassidy||10||56kg||75|
|10||1x1121x6||MOSSFUN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||6||54kg||105|
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