Chris Waller’s Theo Marks Stakes winning mare Winx has suffered an early blow in her bid to salute for the punters in Saturday’s Epsom Handicap 2015 coming up with an awkward barrier 13 draw for the Randwick classic.
A final field of 15 milers face off in this year’s $1 million Group 1 The Star 150th Epsom (1600m), the handicap clash running as Race 7 at 4:00pm (AEST) at the weekend’s major Sydney Spring Racing Carnival meeting.
Heading the early Epsom Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au was Waller’s four-year-old daughter of Street Cry, Winx one of three chances in the race for the dual defending trainer who has won the past two editions with Boban (2013) and He’s Your Man (2014).
Winner of the Queensland Oaks during the winter in Brisbane before her first-up Rosehill win in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) on September 12, Winx has Hugh Bowman back aboard but must overcome barrier 13 of 15 to become a dual Group 1 winner.
Double digit barriers though have produced three of the past four Epsom Handicap winners including the last mare to beat home the boys in the classic – Secret Admirer overcoming gate 16 of 17 to win in 2011.
Barrier 13 holds a unique hoodoo of its own however with no Epsom champ jumping from the gate in over 30 years.
The past two Epsom Handicap winners both saluted from barrier 10 for Waller and this year the gate belongs to the John Sargent-trained Alamosa mare Kirramosa.
The five-year-old has run fifth in all three of her runs this time in including a solid effort behind Kermadec in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) over the same track and distance as the Epsom back on September 19.
The George Main Stakes has produced 15 Epsom Handicap winners since 1983, the most recent being Rock Kingdom (6th in 2009).
In that time the most successful Epsom barriers with four winners each are seven and eight drawn this season by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Ecuador and the Team Hawkes-trained Messene respectively.
Triple Epsom Handicap winning jockey Glen Boss, whose latest success was on Captain Sonador (2010), has the ride on High Chaparral six-year-old Ecuador.
A winner of six of his 18 starts to date, Ecuador has an excellent mile record (5-2-2-0) and comes off a fourth when beaten under two lengths in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) from September 18 carrying 57kg.
He drops a kilo on the weekend going down to the new 56kg minimum after weights were raised 4kg with his trainer Waterhouse shooting for her incredible eighth win in the Epsom and her first since Fat Al (2012).
Messene meanwhile is prepared by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes and the son of Lonhro is out to break the hoodoo of seven-year-olds in the Epsom with none saluting since Super Impose won his second in 1991.
The gelding though comes off a nice third when only beaten a half-length in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday, a race that produced back-to-back Epsom winners in Secret Admirer and Fat Al (2011 and 2012).
The best drawn in this year’s edition with the inside alleys are the John O’Shea-trained Cameron Handicap runner-up Malice (1), John Thompson’s recent Tramway winner Hooked (2) out to atone for a George Main ninth from two weeks ago, the in-form Waller-trained Sadler’s Lake (3) coming off a Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) victory at the track in the wet and the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina (4) who carries a hefty 57.5kg as she looks for her first win since last October’s Turnbull Stakes over the distance in Melbourne.
See below for the full Epsom Handicap 2015 barriers then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to open an account quoting the limited time only promo code SPRINGBONUS to enjoy up to $700 in bonus bets this season!
2015 Epsom Handicap Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 7 (4:00pm) – 03/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||15x4700x19||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Tye Angland||2||58kg||108|
|2||0x49376x64||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Zac Purton||4||57.5kg||111|
|3||28x2460x23||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||14||57.5kg||107|
|4||x7515211x1||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||13||57kg||110|
|5||7x299x5383||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jay Ford||8||57kg||106|
|6||x28840x332||RUDY||Helen Page||Luke Tarrant (a)||9||56kg||104|
|7||x21141x621||SILVERBALL (FR)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||5||56kg||104|
|8||14x2614x24||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||7||56kg||104|
|9||1x6650x555||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||Blake Shinn||10||56kg||103|
|10||38x2240x96||SWEYNESSE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||11||56kg||101|
|11||1x42154x11||SADLER’S LAKE||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||3||56kg||92|
|12||17412311×2||SONS OF JOHN||Jason Attard||Jeff Penza||15||56kg||98|
|13||11x2677x02||MALICE||John O’Shea||Joao Moreira||1||56kg||96|
|14||30x210x737||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Jason Collett||6||56kg||88|
|15||1194x7x063||PRESSING||Mick Price||Glyn Schofield||12||56kg||83|