Some of the Spring Carnival’s standout mares will take to the barriers at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday after the confirmation of thirteen runners in the final field for the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m).
Catkins was disappointing when fifth in the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) last start, but should be in peak condition for redemption in the 2015 Tristarc Stakes and will be hard to beat with champion hoop Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Returning this year for consecutive wins in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) and Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m), the Dubawi mare ran second in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m).
Again placing second in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1350m) before failing to fire in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m), Catkins returned this time for a resounding success in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) and should relish a second attempt at 1400m on Saturday.
Sabatini faces a big step up in class into the 2015 Tristarc Stakes but delivered a talented field a resounding defeat in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1200m) first-up and appears primed for continued success on Saturday.
A strong and consistent performer for Lee and Shannon Hope through the 2014 Spring Carnival, highlighted by an impressive third in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m), Sabatini returned this year for consecutive wins in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m).
Progressing to second in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) and fifth in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) most notably in autumn, Sabatini will need some luck in running from barrier 9 but has been confirmed to be partnered by last start hoop Kerrin McEvoy.
Leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir will launch a two-pronged attack on the 2015 Tristarc Stakes after confirming both Atlantis Dream and La Passe in the race’s final field.
Returning to racing in excellent condition this year, Atlantis Dream ran sixth in the Bendigo Gold Bracelet (1400m) first-up before placing second in the Ross Stevenson Trophy (1600m) and winning the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m).
Running fifth in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) first-up this time before failing to run on in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1400m) last time, the Elusive City mare will also need plenty of luck in transit from barrier 11.
La Passe posted a career-best effort to date in taking out the Blazer Stakes last start and should enjoy a dream run in the Tristarc Stakes from barrier 2, with regular hoop Michelle Payne aboard.
Gregers failed to fire at her last start but should relish the 1400m, barrier 6 and the return of Craig Williams to the saddle in the Tristarc Stakes, while Hazard is arguably offered her best opportunity to return to the winner’s circle this time from barrier 3.
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