It’s a full black-type racing affair at Flemington Racecourse this Saturday, including the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m).
Nine horses have elected to tackle the mile on Saturday and compete for the $200,000 in prize money on offer.
Wez Hunter’s Smokin’ Joey has increased his chances of success this preparation, scoring an ideal jump from barrier three. The seven-year-old gelding has been racing since October with nine starts to his name and no chance of stopping anytime soon.
Smokin’ Joey had a luckless spring, finishing outside the placings in all four of his starts before travelling to Perth to try his luck during the Summer Racing Carnival. He finished fourth in both the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) as well as when he returned to Melbourne for the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) on January 24.
The gelding finally broke his winners hoodoo in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) on February 14, enjoying a smart last-stride win over Jacquinot Bay. Two weeks later he took on a classy field in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), battling on well to finish runner-up to Suavito. Smokin’ Joey will enjoy the return to his favoured trip of a mile on Saturday.
Smokin’ Joey will carry the top weight of 59kg, which is the same weight he carried in the Futurity Stakes, along with Sertorius.
The Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington-trained gelding will jump from barrier five with Ryan Maloney to ride. Sertorius enjoyed a minor placing in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) last autumn but failed to place in any of his four subsequent starts during the spring.
Sertorius was last seen running a distant eighth in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 22 after which the gelding was scratched from the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) field and sent straight to the spelling paddock. He will officially resume in the 2015 Blamey Stakes.
Nigel Blackiston’s Group One winning mare Suavito will jump wide from barrier eight as she looks to win her fourth straight race.
The four-year-old enjoyed back-to-back wins in the Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m) in the spring before resuming in the Futurity Stakes on February 28, which she confidently won by one and a quarter lengths.
Robert Hickmott’s lightly-raced gelding Waxing will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one in his first Australian start this Saturday. The five-year-old has not been seen since July 2013 when he won over 2000 metres in Ireland.
Jacquinot Bay could get his revenge over Smokin’ Joey as he jumps the outside gate with Michael Walker while Saab Hasan’s Shoreham will get his first start of the season since winning the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) in November. The gelding will start in barrier six with Craig Williams to ride.
Check out the complete 2015 Blamey Stakes field and barrier draw below.
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2015 Blamey Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x857744412||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Brad Parnham||3||59kg||107|
|2||5443x6798x||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||Ryan Maloney||5||59kg||104|
|3||6505211127||JACQUINOT BAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||9||58kg||103|
|4||7x46765x47||ESCADO||Matt Laurie||Luke Currie||7||58kg||93|
|5||6x12N311x1||SUAVITO (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Damien Oliver||8||57kg||107|
|6||24x977673x||SHOREHAM||Saab Hasan||Craig Williams||6||57kg||97|
|7||x4x11x9Px5||GUEST OF HONOUR (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||4||57kg||106|
|8||x17x1156x1||KOURKAM (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Nicholas Hall||2||55kg||81|
|9||3x11x||WAXING (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||1||55kg||75|