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Ten runners have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s featured Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Hey Doc has not been seen at the races since running on fairly for sixth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in May, but will make his return to competition on Saturday after being confirmed in the 2017 Aurie’s Star Handicap field.
Hey Doc has been a strong and consistent performer for Tony McEvoy throughout his entire racing career so far, but undoubtedly found his best form to date through a glittering Autumn Carnival campaign this year.
Placing third in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) first-up on February 4th, the Duporth gelding returned to winning form in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) before storming home to win the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 4th.
While failing to fire in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in his only other start prior to The Goodwood, Hey Doc has reportedly relished his time away from racing and his class is sure to count for plenty in the Aurie’s Star Handicap.
I Am A Star is another horse who has not been seen since autumn, but should prove extremely difficult to beat in the Aurie’s Star Handicap first-up.
The first three-year-old to win the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) last spring, I Am A Star resumed this year for second in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m), but missed the jump in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and finished seventh.
Returning to winning form in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m), the I Am Invincible mare repeated that effort and result in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m), but could only manage eighth in the Doncaster Mile.
Last seen running third in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m), I Am A Star will be partnered by Dwayne Dunn from barrier 7.
Lindsay Park has confirmed a four-pronged attack in the 2017 Aurie’s Star Handicap field, including Cannyescent and Snitzson.
Cannyescent has found career best from since transferring from the care of Gabrielle Englebrecht and is seeking a fourth-consecutive race win when he takes his place in the Aurie’s Star Handicap field.
Returning to winning form in the Foodbank BM92 (1350m) at Rosehill on May 6th, the Canny Lad gelding returned to Victoria for a comfortable win in the Le Pine Funerals BM84 (1400m) before comfortably taking out the Brian Beattie Handicap (1400m) last time out on June 24th.
Snitzson worked through the grades extremely well throughout his summer and autumn campaign and was returned to the paddock after savaging the line for third in the Australian Guineas.
Straight track specialist We’ve Got This and consistent mare Flippant are also prominent names in the 2017 Aurie’s Star Handicap field.
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2017 Aurie’s Star Handicap Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||134x31196x||HEY DOC||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||8||59kg||105|
|2||31x271183x||I AM A STAR (NZ)||Shane Nichols||Dwayne Dunn||7||58kg||107|
|3||717121175x||GRANDE ROSSO||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||9||56.5kg||100|
|4||911x63280x||WE’VE GOT THIS||Greg Eurell||Craig Newitt||2||55kg||97|
|5||01x0533x53||FLIPPANT||Peter & Paul Snowden||Ben Melham||6||54.5kg||100|
|6||6x114173x||SNITZSON||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Stephen Baster||5||54kg||94|
|7||26×1516111||CANNYESCENT||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damien Oliver||10||54kg||93|
|8||587×842574||YESTERDAY’S SONGS||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||4||54kg||93|
|9||14x64x0339||RUETTIGER (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Beau Mertens (a)||1||54kg||90|
|10||4x25x413x0||MANUEL||Tony McEvoy||Ben Thompson (a)||3||54kg||65|
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