A small but classy field of eight three-year-old fillies will faces off in Saturday’s Light Fingers Stakes 2016 on Apollo Stakes Day at Royal Randwick.
Due to run as Randwick Race 3 at 1:55pm (AEDT), the $175,000 Group 2 Liberty International Underwriters Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) is the traditional lead-up to the $175,000 Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) back at the track on February 27.
Leading this year’s Light Fingers Stakes field and drawn the outside barrier (eight) is the returning David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Group 1 winner Stay With Me.
The Street Cry filly won the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield last October before her sixth when taking on the older mares in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on Victoria Derby Day.
She trialled well back in Sydney late last month running third to English over 839m at Randwick and has her first run at home since a fifth, also behind English, in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) last March.
The bulk of the Light Fingers Stakes runners are first-up on Saturday.
Another last start Group 1 performer kicking off her Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign is the Gerald Ryan-trained Perignon, a nicely-bred daughter of Snitzel.
She has won just one of her eight starts so far, but ran a competitive third to Speak Fondly in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last October beaten only a long neck in a blanket finish.
Flight Stakes fourth placed Exceed And Excel filly Pearls also runs in Saturday’s Light Fingers, the John O’Shea-trained up-and-comer having won the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) defeating Honesta the run before at Randwick.
Pearls finished second to Spill The Beans in her latest trial at Randwick on January 29, the winner of that hit-out going on to win last Saturday’s Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) first-up at Randwick.
O’Shea is also represented in the Light Fingers field this year by the undefeated Ghisoni drawn in barrier two, one outside of her rails-drawn stablemate.
One of Sydney’s best jockeys James McDonald rides the daughter of Lonhro who has won both of her career starts to date in Sydney in non-black type company.
She is up in class this weekend and racing at Randwick under race conditions for the first time, but showed lots of potential in a recent winning barrier trial at the track over 1050m defeating Aussies Love Sport.
The in-form runner of the race with the fitness edge meanwhile is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Kangarilla Joy coming off back-to-back wins this prep.
The Lonhro filly has had just one stakes start to date when sixth to Speak Fondly in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) last August, but has earned another shot after 1100m wins at Rosehill and Randwick respectively in January.
Rounding out the Light Fingers Stakes line-up are the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fastent Rock filly Harlem River coming off a Randwick trial victory, James Cummings’ Group 3 runner-up Tempt Me Not and little known Scone-based filly Pearasino for Thomas Elmes.
Check out the full Light Fingers Stakes 2016 field, jockeys and barriers below then lock in the hottest autumn racing odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositors’ bonus with use of the promo code BETBONUS!
2016 Light Fingers Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 3 (1:55pm) – 13/02/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||25x11616x||STAY WITH ME||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||8||56kg||104|
|2||41572x253x||PERIGNON||Gerald Ryan||Tim Clark||7||56kg||90|
|3||1214x||PEARLS||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||1||56kg||89|
|4||221x36x||HARLEM RIVER||Gai Waterhouse||Brenton Avdulla||4||56kg||73|
|5||418x21432x||TEMPT ME NOT||James Cummings||Jason Collett||3||56kg||75|
|6||16×11||KANGARILLA JOY||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||6||56kg||76|
|7||11x||GHISONI||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2||56kg||72|