Dual Group 1 winner Cosmic Endeavour is the headline final acceptor for this weekend’s Let’s Elope Stakes 2015 field at Flemington Racecourse on Makybe Diva Stakes Day.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Northern Meteor five-year-old is one of a capacity field of mares in the 16-starter, two-emergency field for this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) that runs as Flemington Race 8 at 4:45pm (AEST) on Saturday.
Drawn well in barrier five with Kerrin McEvoy booked for the ride, Cosmic Endeavour is after her first win since the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in Sydney in early March and is out to improve on a first-up seventh when beaten only one and a half lengths in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) on August 29 at Caulfield.
Cockram Stakes winner Madam Gangster is also backing up in the Let’s Elope Stakes on the weekend, the Lee & Shannon hope-trained Al Maher mare having won five of her past six starts including two Group 3s in Melbourne.
She overcame barrier 14 of 15 to take out the Cockram with Blake Shinn aboard last start and this weekend gets a better gate in six with Mark Zahra taking over for the ride.
Shinn meanwhile will ride stablemate Platinum Rocker who is another of the three Team Hope-trained runners in the mix.
Drawn one wider than Madam Gangster in barrier seven, eight-year-old Love A Dane mare Platinum Rocker has run second in her past two runs and is out to go one better in the Let’s Elope.
The former Western Australian-trained veteran was second to Group 1 winner Smokin’ Joey in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) on July 25 before being beaten under a length by Setinum in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in mid-August.
The third runner for the Hopes on Saturday is Fenway, the High Chaparral four-year-old drawn nicely in barrier two with Glyn Schofield to ride.
Winner of the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in late March, Fenway was last seen crossing second in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide at the start of May and has won one of her two previous first-up runs.
A host of her rivals boast the fitness edge on the weekend though with nice lead-up form including the Darren Weir-trained Cockram Stakes fourth placegetter May’s Dream and Hazard who has the outside alley to overcome as she backs up from a third in the same race.
Along with the Cockram Stakes winner Madam Gangster there are four other last start winners in the mix including the Chris Waller-trained Amicus who took out the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) in Sydney and Niminypiminy who won over 1400m at Flemington five weeks back.
Other notable Let’s Elope Stakes runners include the Team Hawkes-trained grey Maastricht who was fourth to Amicus in the Toy Show on August 22 and Shamardal four-year-old Vezalay who was third in the Cockram Stakes on the back of a Caulfield win in non-black type company.
See below for the full Let’s Elope Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and set weights plus penalties.
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2015 Let’s Elope Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 8 (4:45pm) – 12/09/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1x421005x7||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||5||59kg||111|
|2||1x7348x0x4||MAY’S DREAM||Darren Weir||John Allen||8||58kg||101|
|3||0x171117x2||HAZARD||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Ben Melham||18||58kg||101|
|4||6434×14291||MISS ROSE DE LAGO||Danny O’Brien||Opie Bosson||3||58kg||92|
|5||21x94460x1||AMICUS||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||13||58kg||102|
|6||x1324x113x||NOBLE PROTECTOR (GB)||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||1||58kg||105|
|7||143x4412x||FENWAY||Lee & Shannon Hope||Glyn Schofield||2||58kg||102|
|8||x2111x14x1||MADAM GANGSTER||Lee & Shannon Hope||Mark Zahra||6||58kg||100|
|9||50x5306x22||PLATINUM ROCKER||Lee & Shannon Hope||Blake Shinn||7||56kg||98|
|10||6x811621x0||LOVED UP||Brett Cavanough||Luke Currie||16||56kg||87|
|11||213x178x31||TAWTEEN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||9||55.5kg||90|
|12||21x57540x4||PRECIOUS GEM||Gwenda Johnstone||Chris Parnham||11||55kg||86|
|13||80x888332x||LADY CUMQUAT||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||17||55kg||87|
|14||2x453339x4||MAASTRICHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James Winks||14||55kg||78|
|15||1x2538x13||VEZALAY||Leon & Troy Corstens||Damien Oliver||4||55kg||88|
|16||40×8232521||NIMINYPIMINY||Russell Cameron||Damian Lane||12||55kg||74|
|17e||1122×2||SARDAAJ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||15||55kg||82|
|18e||10×062831||AMARELA (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Michael Walker||10||55kg||68|