Michael Moroney’s Group 1 performer Merion gets the chance to improve on some nice recent form with a Group win in Saturday’s 2015 Frank Packer Plate in Sydney.
A set weights race for three-year-olds, the $150,000 Group 3 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate (2000m) kicks off the Group racing action for Royal Randwick’s All Aged Stakes Day on the weekend running as Race 2 at 1:10pm (AEST).
A final field of 10 youngsters is accepted in the race this year, the highest-rated of which is O’Reilly gelding Merion.
New Zealand-bred, the dual stakes winner hasn’t won a race since the Listed Living Legends Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last September.
His form since then has been on the improve and includes a sixth as a 30/1 shot in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) behind Wandjina and his last start third to Hauraki in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).
The Tullcoh Stakes at Rosehill was Merion’s maiden Sydney start he’ll be out to work off this weekend as he has another go over the 2000m.
Following Merion in the Frank Packer Plate field and ratings this year is the Peter Moody-trained Hi World out wide in barrier nine for Kerrin McEvoy who has a nice record on All Aged Stakes Day in recent years.
High Chaparral colt Hi World shoots for his third straight win after success in the mud at Warwick Farm and then Randwick over the mile this season, his latest victory being in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) run on a Heavy (9).
McEvoy was aboard that day and with rain around Hi World is a strong chance over the extra metres in the Frank Packer.
Also coming off a win is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Another Al in barrier two for jockey Blake Shinn, Shinn replacing James McDonald aboard the Al Maher gelding who comes off a victory in a Class 1 over 2100m at Gosford at the start of the month.
Godolphin and trainer John O’Shea have two chances lining-up side-by-side on Saturday with Gouldian and Farolitos drawn in barriers five and six respectively.
James McDonald rides Street Cry colt Gouldian who is looking to improve on a 12th in the Tulloch Stakes over this distance last start while Hugh Bowman’s mount Farolitos ran second to big danger on Saturday Hi World in the Carbine Club Stakes on April 6.
Also in the mix are the likes of the lightly-raced High Midnight with the outside barrier to overcome and the Chris Waller-trained Wine Tales who scratched out of the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) last Saturday.
Along with Wine Tales the two other fillies taking on the boys in the Frank Packer this year are the Clarry Conners-trained Stratalena in her first stakes assignment and Vinery Stud Stakes failure Miss Interiors.
Check out the full Frank Packer Plate 2015 field, barriers and jockeys in the table below.
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2015 Frank Packer Plate Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 2 (1:10pm) – 18/04/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x4169x3463||MERION (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Steven Arnold||3||56.5kg||85|
|2||3x14x211||HI WORLD||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||9||56.5kg||83|
|3||12x9x31932||FAROLITOS||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||6||56.5kg||75|
|4||3x4517x820||GOULDIAN||John O’Shea||James McDonald||5||56.5kg||68|
|5||341×779||BLADEMEISTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||1||56.5kg||67|
|6||7×55123951||ANOTHER AL||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||2||56.5kg||68|
|7||510||HIGH MIDNIGHT||Bart & James Cummings||Tim Clark||10||56.5kg||62|
|8||2x2152x626||WINE TALES||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||7||54.5kg||80|
|9||444132×384||STRATALENA||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||8||54.5kg||60|
|10||1699×32603||MISS INTERIORS||Anthony Cummings||Jason Collett||4||54.5kg||64|