The Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m) is one of eight races running in support of the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington this Saturday, with eight horses set to tackle the $150,000 race.
Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra’s Hard Stride is the headliner of the field, set to carry the top weight of 59kg with Damian Lane to ride. The four-year-old gelding will enjoy an inside jump from barrier one however.
Hard Stride has placed in 15 of his 22 career starts and is a last start winner of a Benchmark 96 over 1200m at Flemington on February 21. The gelding found the front from the start and continued to lead by a length onto the course proper. He tried hard all the way and simply out ran his rivals, winning one and a half lengths clear. He also placed in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) first-up on January 10.
Aeronautical and Akavoroun share the second line of handicap ratings heading into the 2015 TAB Rewards Stakes.
The Lionel Cohen-trained six-year-old gelding Aeronautical hasn’t had a win since the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1150m) in December 2013. Since then the gelding has run unplaced in all ten of his subsequent starts bar a minor placing in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) last April.
Aeronautical is already five starts into his campaign but his best result was a fourth place in the Listed John Dillon (1400m) at Sandown on January 26, in which he was one length behind winner Reparations. The gelding will jump from barrier three with Douglas Whyte to ride.
Ciaron Maher’s Akavoroun will be one gate out with Michelle Payne as jockey. The five-year-old gelding enjoyed a successful autumn-winter campaign last year, finishing in the first two in all five of his starts including a win in the Listed Winter Championship Final (1600m) in July.
However when the gelding stepped up to Group racing in the spring, he failed to place in any of his four runs. His best result was a fourth placing in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) on October 11, in which the gelding was just one length off winner Trust In A Gust.
Danny O’Brien’s Decircles continues on a lengthy campaign dating back to November 4 in the Listed Security Sprint (1200m). The Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) winner will jump from barrier two with Ben Melham.
The Archie Alexander-trained Amorino had failed to place in seven consecutive starts before scoring a minor placing in the Lawn Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on February 21 last time out.
Amorino will jump from barrier six with Craig Williams.
Check out the complete 2015 TAB Rewards Stakes field and barrier draw below. Open your Ladbrokes.com.au betting account today to receive up to $250 in a bonus match on your first bet.
2015 TAB Rewards Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||222213×371||HARD STRIDE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||1||59kg||101|
|2||034×666548||AERONAUTICAL||Lionel Cohen||Douglas Whyte||3||57.5kg||98|
|3||211x6745x4||AKAVOROUN||Ciaron Maher||Ms Michelle Payne||4||57.5kg||98|
|4||73×0818225||DECIRCLES||Danny O’Brien||Ben Melham||2||57kg||97|
|5||1×66877603||AMORINO||Archie Alexander||Craig Williams||6||56kg||95|
|6||649822736x||TOUGHER THAN EVER (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||7||54.5kg||92|
|7||7×13303211||GRACIOUS PROSPECT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||8||54kg||90|
|8||869x1520x7||HARARE||Pat Carey||Chad Schofield||5||54kg||64|