Headline acceptor Hazard has suffered an early blow in her bid to win the How Now Stakes 2015 second-up at Caulfield Racecourse on the weekend coming up with the outside alley in the mares-only feature.
A field of 15 mares will line up in Caulfield Race 7 on Saturday when the $150,000 Group 3 William Hill Sprint Series Heat 2 Stakes (1200m) – formerly known as the How Now Stakes – jumps at 4:05pm (AEST).
To wear the number one saddlecloth is the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Hazard, the Flying Spur six-year-old drawn the outside alley (15) for jockey Ben Melham to overcome.
She is after her first win since the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m) at Doomben in early June, her first-up run this season being a devastatingly close second to Madam Gangster in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) in late August on Memsie Stakes Day at the same track she returns to on the weekend.
Hazard has won three and placed second in another two of her nine previous Caulfield runs and did well from the outside alley (16 of 16) in the Cockram Stakes as well, her barrier luck the only thing stopping her from winning last time out.
Also drawn wide in this year’s How Now Stakes field are the likes of the returning Robert Smerdon-trained Politeness (13) and Miss Steele (14) for the Cranbourne-based Michael Kent.
Street Sense five-year-old Politeness was out of form at the end of her last campaign with a host of back-end finishes but her last Caulfield start in April produced a Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) victory that Smerdon hopes she will repeat this weekend.
Miss Steele has had four previous runs at the track for two thirds, the latest two runs from the Statue Of Liberty grey being in Adelaide during May including a fourth to Miracles Of Life in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m).
Mares who had better luck in the How Now Stakes barrier draw include the flying Queenslander Lesley’s Choice (3), the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Wawail (4) and Darren Weir’s returning Atlantis Dream (6).
The Gold Coast-based Exceed And Excel five-year-old Lesley’s Choice has won three of her past four runs including back-to-back Doomben wins August over 1100m and 1200m respectively, Saturday her first run at Caulfield.
Wawail has had just one previous start at Caulfield when winning on debut back in December of 2013, her record now standing at five wins from eight starts including the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in mid-March during her last campaign that ended with a nine in the Robert Sangster.
Atlantis Dream is also first-up on Saturday, Brad Rawiller booked to ride the Elusive City seven-year-old whose last start was at Morphettville Parks in early May when beating home Let’s Make Adeal in the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m).
Other noteworthy How Now Stakes hopefuls this weekend include Good Journey five-year-old Griante who was third in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) during the autumn, Mannerism Stakes winner at the track and distance earlier in the year Tycoon Tara and recent Cockram Stakes third placegetter Vezalay.
Check out the full How Now Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below then open an account at Ladbrokes.com.au for the best prices all spring and a $500 bonus sign-up bet when you deposit and quote the code SPRINGBONUS!
2015 How Now Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 7 (4:05pm) – 19/09/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0x171117x2||HAZARD||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Ben Melham||15||58kg||101|
|2||x11x13139x||WAWAIL||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||4||58kg||94|
|3||12124x621x||ATLANTIS DREAM (NZ)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||6||58kg||96|
|4||0x4132x993||GRIANTE||David Brideoake||Steven Arnold||11||57kg||101|
|5||1x3x16000x||POLITENESS||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||13||57kg||99|
|6||226x7820x8||GIRL GUIDE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||9||57kg||96|
|7||12121145×6||TYCOON TARA||Symon Wilde||Luke Currie||12||57kg||98|
|8||x3845x344x||MISS STEELE||Michael Kent||Vlad Duric||14||57kg||88|
|9||277189×080||WRITTEN DASH||Danny Curran||Dean Yendall||1||57kg||76|
|10||50×3427115||JESSY BELLE||Luke Oliver||Damian Lane||8||55kg||90|
|11||33240×1311||LESLEY’S CHOICE||Toby Edmonds||Craig Newitt||3||55kg||87|
|12||14125277×0||SCARLET BILLOWS||Darren Weir||Chris Parnham||2||55kg||85|
|13||20×3127115||FORGERESS||Quinton Scott||Ms Jackie Beriman (a)||5||55kg||81|
|14||1x2538x136||VEZALAY||Leon & Troy Corstens||Damien Oliver||10||55kg||88|
|15||3×1||SATYA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James Winks||7||55kg||65|