There was no love for Tofane in Saturday’s...
A talented field of 14 have accepted positions in the final field for the 2014 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens this weekend, with talented filly Guelph confirmed to make her third-up appearance for the year in the Group 2 event.
Having produced easily one of the most consistent and glittering 2013 preparations of any Australian runner, Guelph secured victory in seven of 10 races, including four Group 1 events; the Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), Moet and Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m), Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) and Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Claiming resounding favouritism for the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up this campaign, the talented Exceed And Excel Filly could do nothing but watch as her rivals displayed a keen turn to foot in the final straight and finished nearly four lengths off the pace in sixth.
Similarly in the Group 2 Surround Stakes most recently, Guelph was unable to run on after claiming a good position in the final straight, crossing the line a disappointing eighth.
Trainer Peter Snowden has included Guelph in nominations for several major races throughout autumn including the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), and is confident his stable’s star can figure in good position in the Phar Lap Stakes, despite drawing the slightly wide barrier 9.
Included in nominations for several races in both Sydney and Melbourne this weekend, co-trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra have elected to accept a position in the 2014 Phar Lap Stakes for in-form filly Solicit.
Finishing seventh in her debut event in March last year, Solicit was one of the standout performers of the 2013 spring, failing to finish outside the places in six races which included victories in the City Of Ballarat Plate (1100m) and Sportingbet Best Tote Plate (1200m) and an unlucky third behind Kirramosa and Zanbagh in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m); her first tilt at the highest level of Australian racing.
The classy Street Cry filly has returned to the track in prime condition this preparation, and Zahra is confident of building off comfortable wins in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) and Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) after drawing the central barrier 8.
Trainer Chris Waller is set to dominate the running of the 2014 Phar Lap Stakes, having accepted positions in the final field for Chateau Lafaite, All Cerise, Marmelo and Define.
While finishing last in the Surround Stakes first-up on March 8th, Chateau Lafaite arguably offers Waller his greatest chance of success in this weekend’s Group 2, having finished outside the places on only one occasion to date and securing the ideal barrier 7.
All Cerise (barrier 4) has returned to the track in great touch so-far in 2014, claiming both the TAB Ipad App Handicap (1250) and TAB Rewards Maiden (1400m) before finishing a competitive second to Forever Loved in the Australian Turf Club Maiden (1500m) most recently.
In only three race starts in 2013, Marmelo (barrier 5) stamped her claims as ‘one to watch’ over the 2014 racing calendar, finishing third in the Lingo Longa Stud Aiding Fillies (1400m) before claiming back-to-back wins in the Spirit Of Life Maiden (1400m) and Flemington Style Plate (1700m).
While yet to hit peak condition in 2014 following three inconsistent results, Define will jump from the ideal barrier 6, and will be partnered by in-form jockey Craig Newitt.
Despite sharing the same Rosehill Gardens race card with two Group 1 races and three other Group 2 events, the 2014 Phar Lap Stakes is shaping as one of the most highly anticipated races of the day.
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2014 Phar Lap Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||113x93632x||EQUATOR||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||3||56.5kg||82|
|2||13×114||WOODBINE||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||12||56.5kg||82|
|3||6x124144x1||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Christian Reith||10||56.5kg||77|
|4||22x31225x3||LIBERTY’S CHOICE||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||14||56.5kg||78|
|5||7×5121||TRAITOR||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||13||56.5kg||73|
|7||241||ROCK STURDY||Joseph Pride||Michael Rodd||1||56.5kg||68|
|8||2211||HIGH TEC (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Hugh Bowman||2||56.5kg||68|
|10||x113233x11||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||8||54.5kg||95|
|11||1x211x0||CHATEAU LAFAITE||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||7||54.5kg||79|
|12||3x6x3x112||ALL CERISE||Chris Waller||James McDonald||4||54.5kg||76|
|13||311×0||MARMELO||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||5||54.5kg||72|
|14||21×417||DEFINE||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||6||54.5kg||73|
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