The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Darren Weir gives last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance a returning run in Adelaide on Saturday in the RA Lee Stakes 2016 before a likely return to the paddock ahead of the spring.
Pentire six-year-old Prince Of Penzance scored the upset of the century taking out last November’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington as a $101 roughie in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
The gelding hasn’t raced again since but is accepted for the $150,000 Group 3 Robert & Fay Gerard R A Lee Stakes (1600m) over the mile on The Goodwood Day in South Australia.
Reuniting with his Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne, Prince Of Penzance carries the 59kg top weight on Saturday and is drawn the outside alley in the 12-starter field where Weir has a total of four runners.
The 1600m should suit first-up however as the $4.4 million earner has won two of his three previous starts over the distance ahead of his Adelaide race debut.
Weir has also accepted for fellow six-year-old Tonopah in Saturday’s RA Lee Stakes field, the Rock Hard Ten gelding coming off a win at the track and distance from two weeks ago, the in-form Atlantis Dream and Tall Ship who Dwayne Dunn is booked to ride.
Tonopah is up in class for this but is drawn the inside alley and has Dean Yendall aboard again on the same 55kg weight in the set weights plus penalties clash.
Also drawn nicely in barrier three, flying stablemate Atlantis Dream is a rising eight-year-old daughter of Elusive City who has run top three in her four latest starts going back to March.
The latest was her second to Into The Mist in the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville from a wide barrier 17 (of 18) draw in an Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival feature she won the previous year.
Like his Melbourne Cup winning stablemate, Tall Ship is also first-up in the RA Lee Stakes for Weir, the imported Sea The Stars gelding runner-up to Who Shot Thebarman in the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m) in mid-November before a last start December win in the Listed Werribee Cup (2635m).
Another resuming runner of note in the mix is the Tony McEvoy-trained Alpine Eagle, a four-year-old High Chaparral stallion racing for the first time since last September.
He is a Group 2 winner and was runner-up in the 2015 Australian Guineas at Flemington, but injury has ruled him out of a run since his sixth to Fawkner when under a length off the winner in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
Alpine Eagle looked to have made a full recovery however blitzing a barrier trial at Morphettville Parks on April 15 with a four length win over Manhattan Prince over 1250m with Dom Tourneur aboard for the hit-out.
Along with Atlantis Dream, the other best out of the Queen Of The South Stakes backing-up in the RA Lee Stakes meanwhile is the Wayne Francis & Glen Kent-trained Court Command mare Rocket Commander who ran third.
See below for the full RA Lee Stakes 2016 field, barriers and jockeys before heading to our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au for access to all the weekend’s best racing odds and offers!
2016 RA Lee Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Morphettville Race 5 (3:05pm) – 21/05/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||23x855821x||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||12||59kg||113|
|2||3x1112x26x||ALPINE EAGLE||Tony McEvoy||Mark Zahra||2||57.5kg||102|
|3||11x884821x||TALL SHIP (IRE)||Darren Weir||Dwayne Dunn||5||56kg||102|
|4||5400×21395||DYLANSON||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||9||56kg||96|
|5||x5079x2322||ATLANTIS DREAM (NZ)||Darren Weir||Nicholas Hall||3||55.5kg||98|
|6||9709117×09||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||James Winks||11||55.5kg||98|
|7||333x2319x0||ALCOHOL||Richard Jolly||Jake Toeroek||4||55kg||95|
|8||5236x356x9||KINGDOMS (NZ)||Michael Hickmott||Craig Newitt||8||55kg||94|
|9||6x8541x661||TONOPAH (USA)||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||1||55kg||92|
|10||2406224328||FLOW METER||John Hickmott||Steven King||10||55kg||82|
|11||1x8764x856||QADIR||David Jolly||Craig Williams||6||55kg||76|
|12||25×8566223||ROCKET COMMANDER||Wayne Francis & Glen Kent||Ms Jamie Kah||7||54kg||88|
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