A diminutive final field of only six sprinters will face off in Saturday’s Schillaci Stakes 2015 at Caulfield Racecourse with the Caulfield Guineas Day support act featuring the smallest line-up on the bumper 10 race program.
Caulfield comes to life with four Group 1 races and a host of other features this weekend including the meeting’s opening Group showdown, the lucrative $400,000 Group 2 Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes (1100m) running as Race 2 at 1:35pm (AEST).
Of the six hopefuls in the mix the highest-rated is Mick Price’s five-time Group 1 winning Redoute’s Choice gelding Lankan Rupee.
The six-year-old hasn’t won a race since the Lighting Stakes over 1000m down the Flemington straight in February and was last seen running a below par ninth of 10 runners in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in early April.
He blitzed a recent Cranbourne barrier trial however showing he was ready to return to his previous ace form, Lankan Rupee boasting an imposing first-up record of four wins and a second from six runs leading up to his return in the Schillaci.
Three of his rivals boast the fitness edge this weekend coming off nice lead-up runs as they prepare to take on Price’s $3.99 million earner including the Tony McEvoy-trained Shiraz.
Jumping from a nice barrier four draw with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, McEvoy’s Zariz six-year-old won four on the trot including back-to-back Group 3s before a last start third to Rebel Dane in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on September 19.
Rebel Dane franked that form with a nice second to Terravista in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) last weekend, something Shiraz will be looking to do as he runs at his pet distance again shooting for his sixth win from 10 runs over the 1100m.
Also in flying form this preparation but stepping up in class for the Schillaci bid is the Ryan Balfour-trained Adelaide raider Cashed.
The Krupt four-year-old has a gun record over Saturday’s distance (9-3-4-0) and comes off a Moonee Valley third when carrying 58.5kg to be beaten only one and a quarter lengths on September 25.
The Brett Cavanough-trained California Dane gelding The Monstar also comes off a last start place when runner-up to Sabatini in a handicap clash at this track and distance on Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day.
Rounding out this year’s Schillaci Stakes field and barriers are the returning duo of Alpha Miss for Robert Smerdon and the rails-drawn I Love It.
Lucky Owners mare Alpha Miss hasn’t raced in over 12 months, her last start being a fourth to first Seal in the Group 1 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) in September last year.
Injury sidelined her but she’s tipped for a big return after a solid fourth behind Lankan Rupee in her latest barrier trial.
I Love It gets the run of the race from barrier one with Stephen Baster booked to ride the five-year-old Artie Schiller mare who was third to Miracles Of Life in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) back in May.
See below for the full Schillaci Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to open your account with the bookie rewarding first time depositing players with a juicy $700 in bonus bets when quoting the code SPRINGBONUS!
2015 Schillaci Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 2 (1:35pm) – 10/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x2213x169x||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||6||58.5kg||116|
|2||1215×11113||SHIRAZ||Tony McEvoy||Hugh Bowman||4||58.5kg||105|
|3||x5762145x2||THE MONSTAR||Brett Cavanough||Richard Bensley||2||58.5kg||89|
|4||2156222113||CASHED||Ryan Balfour||Dwayne Dunn||3||58.5kg||79|
|5||x4130x424x||ALPHA MISS||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||5||56.5kg||84|
|6||0x91x1239x||I LOVE IT||John Salanitri||Stephen Baster||1||56.5kg||93|