In-form Brisbane visitor Harada Bay has suffered an early blow for his step up in class on Zipping Classic Day in Melbourne on Saturday drawing the outside alley for the Sandown Stakes 2015.
Set to run as Sandown Race 4 at 2:45pm (AEST) on Zipping Classic Day, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) features a final field of 14.
In barrier 14 of 14 is John, Dan & Chris Meagher’s Eagle Farm-trained Haradasun six-year-old Harada Bay who has Steven King retaining the ride.
Coming off four top three runs, including two in Melbourne this spring, Harada Bay was last seen crossing just a short half-head away second in the Listed Sale Cup (1600m) on October 25.
He carries the same 54kg minimum weight this weekend for his maiden Group assignment, but has the nasty gate to overcome.
Also drawn wide in this year’s Sandown Stakes field is the Chris Waller-trained Good Project in 13 for ace Sydney-based hoop James McDonald.
Good Project has run top three in all five of his starts this time in including over 1400m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last time out.
There the Not A Single Doubt four-year-old carried a hefty 60kg from barrier 11, the big drop back to 54kg a nice advantage on the weekend.
Leading the Sandown Stakes weights this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with 58.5kg is the Team Hawkes-trained Ninth Legion jumping from barrier three with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
It has been a long time between drinks for six-year-old Ninth Legion whose last victory was back in late January in Sydney’s Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m).
He has enjoyed two Group 2 seconds since then, as well as his Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) third behind Waller’s subsequent Cox Plate winning mare Winx in Sydney back in September.
His last run though was a disappointing 11th on Victoria Derby Day at Flemington on October 31 when beaten over seven lengths crossing 11th in the Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m) with 1.5kg less than his weight this weekend.
The next heaviest weighted with 58kg each are the John Sadler-trained Charmed Harmony in gate eight for Glen Boss and Star Rolling with the inside run from barrier one.
Hussonet six-year-old Charmed Harmony won four on the trot earlier before a close fifth when just over a length off the winner Stratum Star in Caulfield’s Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 26.
His last start was in the Chatham Stakes where barrier 13 of 14 saw him finish fourth with Kiwi hoop Opie Bosson aboard.
Star Rolling meanwhile hasn’t raced since a 12th of 13 runners in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) back in late February, his last run being way back in August of last year.
The best out of Derby Day’s Chatham Stakes backing up in the Sandown Stakes is the third-placed Hosting, Greg Eurell’s gelding shooting for his second win from as many starts at the track and drawn well in barrier five for Kerrin McEvoy.
Burning Front from Melbourne Cup winning horseman Darren Weir also ran well last time out when under a length away third to Zewbrinz over the mile in the wet on Crown Oaks Day.
The full Sandown Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights can be found in the table below.
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2015 Sandown Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sandown Race 4 (2:45pm) – 14/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||7202×36460||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3||58.5kg||103|
|2||1023111154||CHARMED HARMONY||John Sadler||Glen Boss||8||58kg||102|
|3||x16800x00x||STAR ROLLING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||1||58kg||102|
|4||x171262x70||MR UTOPIA||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||7||55.5kg||97|
|5||5x458x2907||AKAVOROUN||Ciaron Maher||Ms Michelle Payne||4||54.5kg||95|
|6||0787520×63||HOSTING||Greg Eurell||Kerrin McEvoy||5||54.5kg||95|
|7||642x890x80||EXIMIUS||Mick Price||Damian Lane||6||54kg||90|
|8||x257x12312||GOOD PROJECT||Chris Waller||James McDonald||13||54kg||90|
|9||1231123153||BURNING FRONT||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||10||54kg||89|
|10||39×7343322||HARADA BAY||John, Dan & Chris Meagher||Steven King||14||54kg||89|
|11||x01002x847||TIMELESS PRINCE||Tony Newing||TBA||12||54kg||87|
|12||331154×343||TASHBEEH||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||2||54kg||78|
|13||8x87x11668||STAVIVA||Matt Laurie||Chris Parnham||11||54kg||76|
|14||12x47x||OUR POSITIVE MOVE (GB)||Tony Noonan||Jake Noonan||9||54kg||72|