A number of possible Australian Derby hopefuls stake their claims for The Championships’ target this weekend running in the Phar Lap Stakes 2015 at Rosehill on Coolmore Classic Day.
Due to jump at 4:50pm (AEDT) as Rosehill Race 8, this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Cellarbrations Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) features a field of 10 three-year-olds.
Easily the top-rated acceptor is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Hampton Court (103) drawn ideally in barrier four for jockey Joshua Parr.
Winner of the Group 1 Spring Champions Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in the spring, Hampton Court rounded out last prep with an eighth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) before his return to racing back in Sydney on February 21.
First-up he ran in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) but could only manage to finish over five and a half lengths away ninth behind subsequent Randwick Guineas winner Hallowed Crown.
Waterhouse is hoping for improvement second-up this weekend then with Hampton Court eyeing a run in the $2 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships, April 4.
He is one of six current single figure chances in the all-in Australian Derby odds at Ladbrokes.com.au led by New Zealand Derby winner Mongolian Khan ($5) paying $9 to win the mile and a half classic.
The next two shortest priced Phar Lap Stakes runners in the futures Australian Derby betting markets are then Diamond Valores and Hauraki at $26 each.
Peter & Paul Snowden’s Tavistock gelding Diamond Valores is drawn one outside of Hampton Court on Saturday with barrier five and Blake Shinn jumping back aboard.
Shinn hasn’t ridden the galloper since the duo finished runner-up to Sweynesse, who ran second in last Saturday’s Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m), in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill last September.
This time in Diamond Valores has had two runs, the most recent a disappointing 10th in the Hobartville he’ll be out to atone for here.
Hauraki meanwhile has the outside barrier 10 draw in the Phar Lap, the Reset colt representing John O’Shea and Godolphin.
He won back-to-back races to kick off his career last spring in Sydney before coming back this season for two unplaced runs in Melbourne.
His latest effort was a dead last when 12th to subsequent Australian Guineas winner Wandjina in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m), but he is tipped for improvement returning to Sydney over more distance this weekend.
As well as the Derby bound colts and geldings, this year’s Phar Lap Stakes field features a host of exciting fillies looking at a run in the $1 million Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) the following Saturday, April 11.
Leading the Australian Oaks-bound contingent of fillies taking on the boys in the Phar Lap this year is the Chris Waller-trained Winx drawn in barrier seven with Tommy Berry jumping aboard.
The Street Cry filly was runner-up to Saturday’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) top fancy First Seal in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) last October, and comes off a fifth to the same champion-in-the-making in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) on February 28.
Waller has also accepted for $21 Oaks hope Wine Tales who has the rails run with Jim Cassidy in the saddle the daughter of Tale Of The Cat looks to improve on a Surround Stakes sixth.
The two other fillies heading towards The Championships running in Saturday’s lead-up are then the lightly-raced Heavens Above ($17) and High Above ($26) from the stables of Anthony Cummings.
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2015 Phar Lap Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 8 (4:50pm) – 14/03/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0x834118x9||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||Joshua Parr||4||56.5kg||103|
|2||6212×42126||TESTASHADOW||Gary Portelli||Brenton Avdulla||3||56.5kg||78|
|3||1122×60||DIAMOND VALORES (NZ)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||5||56.5kg||78|
|4||11×60||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||James McDonald||10||56.5kg||66|
|5||56x42238x6||POUNAMU||Allan Denham||Glyn Schofield||6||56.5kg||70|
|6||11x122x75||WINX||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||7||54.5kg||96|
|7||12x2152x6||WINE TALES||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||1||54.5kg||76|
|8||212×02||SUPARA||Gai Waterhouse||Christian Reith||2||54.5kg||88|
|9||315×9||HIGH ABOVE||Anthony Cummings||Jason Collett||9||54.5kg||68|
|10||32||HEAVENS ABOVE||Tim Martin||Kerrin McEvoy||8||54.5kg||63|