Rodney Northam’s returning Caulfield Guineas hope Odyssey Moon headlines a class field of three-year-old colts and geldings accepted to face off in the McKenzie Stakes 2015 field at Moonee Valley this weekend.
Running as Moonee Valley Race 6 at 3:20pm (AEST), this year’s $120,000 Listed Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) features a dozen hopefuls with Northam’s Snitzel colt Odyssey Moon to wear the number one saddlecloth.
Runner-up to Pride Of Dubai in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in early April before a last start sixth to Pasadena Girl when up to a mile for the first time in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) to finish off his autumn.
Odyssey Moon hasn’t won since a successful debut at Randwick in the Inglis Nursery back in December last year where he defeated Kimberley Star, Gai Waterhouse’s smart filly running in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes in Sydney this Saturday on the back of a hat-trick of wins.
He has twice trialled ahead of his return and has work to do from a wide barrier 10 draw in the McKenzie Stakes with Damien Oliver to ride the galloper who heads towards a possible run in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
A host of the other McKenzie Stakes acceptors are also outside Caulfield Guineas chances this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival including Manhattan Blues and El Greco drawn aside each other on Saturday in barriers three and four respectively.
The Tony McEvoy-trained Adelaide visitor Manhattan Blues had his last start at Flemington in mid-March when sixth to Jameka in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on the back of a brave fourth in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Saturday is his first look around Moonee Valley and he has won his only other first-up assignment to date when breaking his maiden status at Morphettville Parks back in South Australia in January.
El Greco is prepared by Peter Moody and is yet to finish out of the top two in his five career starts so far.
The dual winner and three time runner-up stepped up in class and distance last time out on July 11 at Flemington, the Artie Schiller gelding crossing a nose away second to Automatic Choice in the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m).
Other consistent youngsters in the McKenzie Stakes miss this spring include the Ciaron Maher-trained Bon Aurum with the outside alley to overcome and the Logan McGill-trained dual winning Oratorio gelding Gold Busker in barrier two with Stephen Baster to ride.
Gold Busker won his opening two career starts in Tasmania in February including a black-type over 1200m before he ran second when just nudged out of the win by Atlanta Miss in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in Adelaide on March 9.
Also of note are Clinton McDonald’s exciting Exceed And Excel colt Danuki and Well Sprung who debuted with a second at Cranbourne behind Niccorama on July 19.
The full McKenzie Stakes 2015 field, barriers and jockeys are found below.
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2015 McKenzie Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 6 (3:20pm) – 22/08/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1423826x||ODYSSEY MOON||Rodney Northam||Damien Oliver||10||56.5kg||78|
|2||112x||GOLD BUSKER||Logan McGill||Stephen Baster||2||56.5kg||72|
|3||16246x||MANHATTAN BLUES||Tony McEvoy||James Winks||3||55kg||70|
|4||12122||EL GRECO||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||4||55kg||73|
|5||12x||DANUKI||Clinton McDonald||Mark Zahra||8||55kg||65|
|6||135×3||DESTINY’S REWARD||Brian Gentle||Darren Gauci||6||55kg||63|
|7||413||BON AURUM||Ciaron Maher||Damian Lane||12||55kg||63|
|8||0x1||JOBODWANA||Mick Price||Dale Smith||11||55kg||62|
|9||6×62||VICIOUS||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||7||55kg||61|
|10||6x7x||TRENCH FIGHTER||Robbie Laing||Craig Newitt||9||55kg||60|
|11||2||WELL SPRUNG||Lyn Tolson & Leonie Proctor||Michael Walker||5||55kg||62|
|12||–||BOSTON LIGHT||Bryce Heys||Craig Williams||1||55kg||–|