One of four final acceptors for Darren Weir into Saturday’s Queen Of The South Stakes 2016, defending champion Atlantis Dream has work to do from a wide draw in the last on the Morphettville race card.
Bringing the action of Robert Sangster Stakes Day to a close as Morphettville Race 8 at 4:40pm (local), this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) has drawn a capacity field of 18 starters plus an emergency.
Four of the fillies and mares in the mix for the set weights plus penalties feature come from the Melbourne Cup winning stables of Victorian trainer Weir, including last year’s winner Atlantis Dream drawn in barrier 17 (into 16).
Luke Nolen has the ride on the in-form Elusive City seven-year-old who might be a veteran but is still racing well after Nicholas Hall guided her to a narrow victory in last year’s Queen Of The South Stakes.
This season she comes off three top three runs in her home state, the latest seeing her defeated under a length from barrier 12 of 12 over 1700m at Flemington on Anzac Day, similar form that led into her victory last Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival.
Weir’s other acceptors in his attempt at back-to-back wins are Hijack Hussy (10) for Damien Oliver, Felicienne in the outside alley with Brad Rawiller riding and Michelle Payne’s mount Jennio in gate nine, which will become eight if the emergency Indarra (8) fails to gain a start.
Al Maher four-year-old Felicienne won the Group 3 Matron Stakes (1600m) at Flemington two back before her fifth behind Miss Rose De Lago last start in late March at Moonee Valley in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m).
Another four-year-old, O’Reilly mare Jennio is also racing consistently this time in not having finished out of the money in her six latest runs that include a Sandown-Lakeside win over the mile on April 20.
Also drawn wide in Saturday’s clash are the likes of the Robert Smerdon-trained last start Flemington winner Every Faith (18), Chris Waller’s flying Snitzel four-year-old French Emotion (16) coming off a second in the VOBIS Gold Distaff (1400m) at Caulfield in mid-April and Metaphorical (14).
Dylan Thomas five-year-old Metaphorical is prepared by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig and has been racing well in Melbourne leading up to her first Morphettville run since her third in last May’s Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) behind The Bowler.
She was runner-up to fellow Queen Of The South Stakes hope Felicienne in the Matron Stakes before a third in the Sunline Stakes last time out.
Other notable acceptors include Tony McEvoy’s daughter of Redoute’s Choice Into The Mist (5) coming off a big 3.2 length win at the track and distance on April 16, her stablemate Loveitt (15) to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, runner-up to Zebulon in last weekend’s Listed City Of Adelaide Stakes (1400m) Rocket Commander (11) and the Mick Price-trained Mefnooda shooting for three wins on the trot.
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2016 Queen Of The South Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Morphettville Race 8 (4:40pm) – 07/05/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1x5079x232||ATLANTIS DREAM (NZ)||Darren Weir||Luke Nolen||17||58.5kg||96|
|2||21411×0715||FELICIENNE||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||19||57kg||93|
|3||1x41386x00||OKAHU BAY||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||2||57kg||83|
|4||416765×394||NO TRICKS (NZ)||Wayne Walters||Stephen Baster||6||56.5kg||88|
|5||0x086x3425||HIJACK HUSSY||Darren Weir||Damien Oliver||10||56kg||88|
|6||0x6155x581||EVERY FAITH||Robert Smerdon||Glen Boss||18||56kg||86|
|7||198×432423||METAPHORICAL||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Matthew Neilson||14||55kg||93|
|8||x103438x60||LUCKY LAGO||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Damian Lane||3||55kg||89|
|9||223×111122||FRENCH EMOTION||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||16||55kg||86|
|10||x1129x7931||INTO THE MIST||Tony McEvoy||Jason Holder||5||55kg||86|
|11||225×856622||ROCKET COMMANDER||Wayne Francis & Glen Kent||Ms Jamie Kah||11||55kg||84|
|12||x901523565||MARLI MAGIC||John Sadler||Daniel Moor||13||55kg||80|
|13||F813116x11||MEFNOODA||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||4||55kg||80|
|14||x673121150||ZERPRISE JOURNEY||Mick Huxtable||Joe Bowditch||7||55kg||79|
|15||841312×671||MUY BIEN||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||12||55kg||74|
|16||4L33126x15||FAIR AND EQUITABLE (NZ)||Ken Keys||Dwayne Dunn||1||55kg||73|
|17||57×7313331||JENNIO||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||9||55kg||72|
|18||x7x26x3313||LOVEITT||Tony McEvoy||Kerrin McEvoy||15||55kg||71|
|19e||3x221x9804||INDARRA (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||TBA||8||54kg||69|