Wez Hunter’s in-form Group 1 winning veteran Smokin’ Joey heads a small but classy field of gallopers engaged to face off in Saturday’s PB Lawrence Stakes 2015 at Caulfield Racecourse.
A nice lead-up for some of the bigger staying features of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Back to Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) runs as Caulfield Race 7 at 4:00pm (AEST).
Nine horses make up the field with Hunter’s flying Encosta De Lago eight-year-old Smokin’ Joey to wear the number one saddle cloth as he shoots for his third win on the trot.
Last time out the warhorse took out the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 25 and he returns to the track on Saturday after his fifth win there at his 14th start on the course.
Visiting Perth hoop Chris Parnham retains the ride on Smokin’ Joey and the Bletchingly Stakes winner should get a gun run from barrier three shooting for the hat-trick of wins.
Also coming off a last start victory and drawn ideally one inside of Smokin’ Joey in barrier two is the Wayne Walters-trained mare No Tricks.
Stephen Baster has the ride on the four-year-old daughter of Savabeel who was last seen winning the Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes (1800m) at Doomben on June 20.
She drops down in distance for the PB Lawrence Stakes, but has twice run second from three previous 1400m wins so is still in with a solid chance from the nice gate at weight-for-age.
Petrology in the outside alley (9) is the only other galloper not racing first-up in the feature race in Melbourne on Saturday, the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained son of Fastnet Rock to be ridden by Dwayne Dunn second-up in the PB Lawrence.
The four-year-old stallion, winner of the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) in mid-November last spring, returned to racing in the Bletchingly Stakes and caught the eye straight away when running third to Smokin’ Joey who he faces again over the extra 200m on Saturday.
Of the returning runners going into the PB Lawrence Stakes first-up this weekend one of the most exciting is the 2015 Cox Plate-bound The Cleaner from Tasmania who is drawn in gate six with Noel Callow booked for the ride.
A 49-start vet, The Cleaner has a strong record in Melbourne including a fourth to Spillway in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington back in mid-March.
His first-up record is solid (8-3-2-1) and Burles is confident he has come back in good order as he tracks towards a run in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Two other notable hopes racing first-up on Saturday are the Darren Weir-trained Taiyoo (barrier five) who won seven of his nine most recent runs last time in and Gai Waterhouse’s European import Excess Knowledge (barrier seven) who was last seen winning the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) in Sydney in late March.
See below for the full PB Lawrence Stakes 2015 field, barriers and jockeys then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to place your bets at the bookie offering a Bonus Bet if your first Fixed Odds Win bet runs second or third in the race!
2015 PB Lawrence Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 7 – 15/08/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||44124×0811||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Chris Parnham||3||59kg||106|
|2||11939x245x||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Noel Callow||6||59kg||109|
|3||2317x1310x||MOURINHO||Darryl Blackshaw||Vlad Duric||1||59kg||109|
|4||1x43352x0x||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||8||59kg||104|
|5||023x43028x||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Damien Oliver||4||59kg||101|
|6||114111112x||TAIYOO||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||5||59kg||105|
|7||23x715x11x||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||7||59kg||101|
|8||8611x290x3||PETROLOGY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||9||58.5kg||92|
|9||4442160641||NO TRICKS (NZ)||Wayne Walters||Stephen Baster||2||56.5kg||90|