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A diminutive but classy field of only seven mares face off under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse this Friday night in the Stocks Stakes 2015 over a mile.
The opening black-type on the eight-race Moir Stakes Night program, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 StrathAyr Track Stocks Stakes (1600m) runs as Moonee Valley Race 3 at 7:45pm (AEST).
There may only be half of the capacity number of acceptors in the mix for the mares-only weight-for-age showdown, but the class of the competitors is still excellent including the Gai Waterhouse-trained Amanpour on the rails in barrier one.
Vlad Duric rides the five-year-old daughter of Northern Meteor, the third jockey in as many starts this time in to jump aboard this year’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes winner.
She won that elite level over the mile in Randwick during the autumn and now chases another 1600m success, which would be her third in four attempts at the distance, in her first Melbourne run since a third to Suavito in the Group 2 Momentum Stakes (2000m) last November.
Another well-drawn Group 1 winner in the Stocks Stakes field this spring is Fenway jumping from gate two with Blake Shinn in the saddle.
Lee & Shannon Hope’s High Chaparral four-year-old took out the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) as a three-year-old in late March at Rosehill before a second in early May behind Delicacy in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide.
She returned to racing three weeks ago at Flemington in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) only managing to run ninth over four lengths off the winner, a run she’s tipped to improve on when back out over a mile.
Coming off a better run behind Amicus in the Let’s Elope Stakes into the Stocks Stakes is the Darren Weir-trained New Approach five-year-old May’s Dream.
Fourth to Madam Gangster in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in late May, Weir’s 2014 Schweppes Oaks winner then ran third when just a half-length away in the Let’s Elope.
Let’s Elope Stakes runner-up Precious Gem is the other headline Stocks Stakes acceptor, the six-year-old daughter of Enconsul a 26/1 roughie in that race not having won since November last year during the Cup Carnival.
That day she saluted over 1700m at Flemington defeating Amanpour, an effort the Gwenda Johnstone-trained mare will be out to emulate this Friday night.
Third to May’s Dream in last year’s Schweppes Oaks, the now five-year-old Scratchy Bottom is also in the mix after her first win since the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) in Sydney back in March with her first-up run this prep a disappointing 10th to Kayjay’s Joy at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
Rounding out this year’s Stocks Stakes field are then the Robert Smerdon-trained Grey Swallow four-year-old Ungrateful Ellen in barrier three for jockey Craig Williams and the Team Hawkes-trained Sardaaj who has Group 1 second placed form in New Zealand over the mile.
See below for the full Stocks Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2015 Stocks Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 3 (7:45pm) – 02/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||123x621x06||AMANPOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||1||57kg||107|
|2||x7348x0x43||MAY’S DREAM||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||6||57kg||101|
|3||x086x014x0||SCRATCHY BOTTOM||Michael Kent||Mark Zahra||4||57kg||90|
|4||1x57540x42||PRECIOUS GEM||Gwenda Johnstone||Chris Parnham||7||57kg||90|
|5||143x4412x9||FENWAY||Lee & Shannon Hope||Blake Shinn||2||56.5kg||102|
|6||04x31532x8||UNGRATEFUL ELLEN||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||3||56.5kg||82|
|7||1122×26||SARDAAJ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||5||56.5kg||82|
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