Flemington Racecourse is host to the major Melbourne ANZAC Day meeting on Monday, racing headlined by the VRC St Leger 2016.
The second stakes race on the card, this year’s $200,000 Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) is due to run as Flemington Race 5 at 3:25pm (AEST) and features a final field of 14 three-year-olds.
Heading the line-up but drawn wide out in gate 13 for jockey Craig Williams to overcome is the John O’Shea-trained Etymology.
The son of New Approach is best known for his second to Tarzino in last November’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), and was tested in Group 1 company three times this campaign.
The latest of those Sydney runs was a fifth to Tavago when well-beaten in Randwick’s Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m).
He should appreciate returning to Melbourne on Monday, but has work to do from the alley.
Also drawn wide in the far outside alley for the staying showdown is the Pat Carey-trained Meru, a Duke Of Marmalade filly from Mornington coming off a third to Charlevoix in the Listed Galilee Final (2400m) as a $41 roughie at Sandown on April 9.
Carey has also accepted for Domesday filly Wintonia who was dead last at Caulfield last start on April 16 over 2000m, so has plenty of improving to do from her gun gate four draw, and maiden Laser Sight.
The best fancied of the five fillies taking on the boys in this year’s VRC St Leger field meanwhile is the Shane Nichols-trained Fiefdom in gate five with Dean Yendall booked for the ride.
Monday sees the fellow daughter of Domesday line-up for her 10th career run, her latest start producing a narrow Geelong win over 2455m at Geelong she’ll be out to repeat dropping back from 56kg to 54kg at set weights plus penalties.
Also coming off a last start win is the James Cummings-trained Casino Prince gelding Joueur who saluted over 2600m at Gosford by an impressive two and three-quarter lengths on April 12.
He should relish 2800m on Monday for his Black Type debut, but does go up three kilos to 56kg with Damien Oliver coming on to replace apprentice James Innes Jnr.
Aside from Etymology the other two highest rated VRC St Leger hopes this autumn are Hardern and Cool Chap drawn in gates six and 10 respectively.
David Brideoake’s Hard Spun gelding Hardern has Group 2 form all over Melbourne from earlier in the autumn including a brave third to Tally in the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 18.
His latest assignment was in South Australia for a close fourth in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m).
The run before that he placed third over 2000m at Caulfield behind fellow VRC St Leger rival Cool Chap, the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained High Chaparral gelding backing up to run a last start second in the Galilee Final.
See below for the full VRC St Leger 2016 field, barriers and jockeys.
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2016 VRC St Leger Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 5 (3:25pm) – 25/04/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||13632×9065||ETYMOLOGY||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||13||56kg||88|
|2||2543165334||HARDERN||David Brideoake||Ben Melham||6||56kg||71|
|3||5×13212||COOL CHAP||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Daniel Stackhouse||10||56kg||70|
|4||7180146304||BULLISH STOCK (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||8||56kg||67|
|5||x8214x3308||SKULDUGGERY||Danny O’Brien||Steven King||2||56kg||61|
|6||81×6445||TUFF BICKIE||Ken Keys||Mark Zahra||11||56kg||61|
|7||4480×69531||JOUEUR||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||9||56kg||58|
|8||x452431380||SARIMANOK||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Declan Bates||3||56kg||58|
|9||565860||LASER SIGHT||Pat Carey||TBA||7||56kg||41|
|10||3x18x39||ALITTLE LOOSE||Michael Kent||TBA||12||54kg||63|
|11||7523×08757||CRACKLIN’ ROSIE||Robbie Laing||Luke Currie||1||54kg||44|
|13||5646×85521||FIEFDOM||Shane Nichols||Dean Yendall||5||54kg||58|