John O’Shea’s in-form import Hartnell is drawn to get a gun run at Royal Randwick on Saturday coming up with barrier five in the Hill Stakes 2016 field.
Running as Race 5 at 2:35pm (AEST) on the George Main Stakes Day program, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Ascend Sales Trophies Hill Stakes (2000m) has drawn a final field of only eight hopefuls.
Sitting top of the line-up for the weight-for-age clash is the short-priced favourite in early Hill Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Godolphin galloper Hartnell.
James McDonald stays aboard the Authorzied six-year-old who is third-up for the season after a second to Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and his win in a Winx-less Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) a fortnight back.
Hartnell goes up to 2000m for the first time since his Cox Plate fifth, also behind Winx, in Melbourne last October and third-up should be in peak form and fitness for the Hill Stakes.
O’Shea is dually represented in the Hill Stakes field this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival also accepting for the stable’s reigning Group 1 The Metropolitan winner Magic Hurricane.
Magic Hurricane won that mile and a half feature last season on the back of a second to Preferment in the Hill Stakes, form he’s out to repeat this year.
He comes off a close third when only a quarter-length off the winner Sense Of Occasion at Rosehill on August 27 in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1900m) when narrowly missing out on defending his titles, and drops from 61kg that day to 59kg on Saturday at WFA.
Chris Waller dominates the Hill Stakes field with four final acceptors including the defending champion Preferment who chases back-to-back wins in the race he took out 12 months ago before heading to Flemington to win the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
During the autumn he added a further two Group 1 wins to his record including The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill and is out to improve on a first-up fourth to Hartnell in the Chelmsford Stakes.
Waller also prepares the Chelmsford Stakes runner-up Grand Marshal who runs in the Hill Stakes third-up, the seven-year-old import after his first win since taking out the 2015 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Grand Marshal was also third in this year’s Sydney Cup following a third to Preferment in The BMW.
Fifth in the Chelmsford for Waller was this year’s The BMW runner-up Who Shot Thebarman, fourth in this autumn’s Sydney Cup over the two miles after a second in the same classic the previous season.
Best known for his Melbourne Cup third to Protectionist in 2014, Who Shot Thebarman ran fifth in the Hill Stakes last year beaten only 1.3 lengths.
Waller’s contingent is completed by Sea The Stars stallion Storm The Stars who was beaten nearly eight lengths first-up when third in the Chelmsford Stakes.
Darren Weir runs his early 2016 Melbourne Cup favourite Signoff third-up in the Hill Stakes this weekend, the seven-year-old boasting two wins and a third from four runs over the distance.
The field is completed by the autumn’s ATC Derby winner Tavago, the now Cranbourne-trained Tavistock four-year-old coming off an 11th in Moonee Valley’s Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).
See below for the full Hill Stakes 2016 field, barriers and jockeys then visit our No. 1 recommended bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au for the best weekend racing odds and George Main Stakes promotion.
2016 Hill Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 5 (2:35pm) – 17/09/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x4650x5x21||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||5||59kg||116|
|2||907x4110x4||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4||59kg||115|
|3||1x90324x65||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Christian Reith||8||59kg||111|
|4||3x08533x72||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Rory Hutchings||6||59kg||108|
|5||2314x797x3||STORM THE STARS (USA)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||7||59kg||108|
|6||21x7966x53||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||1||59kg||106|
|7||4x8xD21x00||SIGNOFF (IRE)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||3||59kg||106|
|8||2113061×0||TAVAGO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||TBA||2||58kg||109|