Last year’s winning trainer Chris Waller is back with three runners in Saturday’s Spring Champion Stakes 2016 field at Royal Randwick including the flying Veladero.
Running as Randwick Race 7 at 4:10pm (AEDT), this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) has attracted a final field of 11 hopeful three-year-olds.
Three hail from the star Sydney stables of Waller who took out the feature 12 months ago with Vanbrugh (2015).
Vanbrugh won on the back of a lead-up victory in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m), the same race the stable’s top hope Veladero won at Rosehill last start on September 24.
Medaglia D’Oro colt Veladero has now won all three of his starts this time in as a three-year-old and is out to extend the winning streak to four on the trot on Saturday with Rory Hutchings retaining the ride in barrier three.
Waller has also accepted for his High Chaparral colt High Mist out to improve on the close seventh when only beaten 1.5 lengths in the Gloaming Stakes and fifth in the same lead-up Tumultuous drawn in barriers six and five respectively.
Heading the Spring Champion Stakes field and drawn just one outside of Veladero in barrier four is the James Cummings-trained Prized Icon.
As a two-year-old at the track the More Than Ready colt enjoyed a Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) win over the mile.
He has been racing competitively this time in including against the older horses in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and his last-start third in the Gloaming Stakes when only a quarter-length off the winner.
Prized Icon gets the chance to turn the tables on his last start conqueror over the extra distance on Saturday and has Glyn Schofield jumping aboard for the first time since the Group 1 win back in mid-April.
Schofield rode Vanbrugh to victory in the race last year for Waller and chases back-to-back Spring Champion Stakes winning rides for the first time since Shane Dye (1995-1996).
Also accepting for multiple chances is Team Hawkes with Swear and Ready Fire Aim drawn at opposite ends of the field in gates 11 and one respectively.
Tommy Berry chases his first winning ride in the race on Redoute’s Choice colt Swear who won the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at the track first-up before a sixth when under a length off Veladero in the Gloaming.
History is against him however in the outside draw with the last Spring Champion Stakes winner to salute from double digits being Hotel Grand (10 of 11) in 2005.
Ready Fire Aim is looking to salute from the inside alley, which last produced a winner in Complacent (2013) just three years ago, and comes off a second over 1800m at Hawkesbury from September 22.
John O’Shea and the Godolphin stable are also in with two chances: Honeywine (barrier two) and Retaliation (barrier nine).
Street Cry colt Honeywine ran second in the Gloaming Stakes in his Black-Type debut and will only improve off the run, while Bernardini colt Retaliation was fourth in the same lead-up just a half-length away in a blanket finish.
See below for the full Spring Champion Stakes 2016 field, barriers and jockeys with updated markets set for release shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2016 Spring Champion Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 7 (4:10pm) – 08/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||323211×463||PRIZED ICON||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||4||56.5kg||88|
|2||634×111||VELADERO||Chris Waller||Rory Hutchings||3||56.5kg||80|
|3||1×16||SWEAR||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||11||56.5kg||76|
|4||8×1642217||HIGH MIST||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||6||56.5kg||74|
|7||515465||TUMULTUOUS||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||5||56.5kg||64|
|8||7×7032||READY FIRE AIM||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||1||56.5kg||56|
|9||474×137||HAND IT IN||Rodney Ollerton||TBA||7||56.5kg||53|
|10||39||KHARTOUM||Pat Carey||Joshua Parr||10||56.5kg||–|
|11||11x21x62||YANKEE ROSE||David Vandyke||Dean Yendall||8||54.5kg||101|