The Ron Quinton-trained Royal Celebration is one...
Chris Waller will be out to continue his nice early start to the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival saddling-up three hopes in the Theo Marks Stakes 2017 at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
A key feature on the program, this season’s Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) has drawn a small but classy field of eight hopefuls.
Carrying the 59kg top weight from gate six with Blake Shinn aboard is Waller’s in-form Foxwedge mare Foxplay who is second-up.
She resumed in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and led nearly all the way until her superstar stablemate Winx ran her down for the win in the dying stages.
Winner of the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) during the autumn, Foxplay strips fitter for her resuming run but gives the kilos away in the Theo Marks going up from 56.kg.
The race will be her sixth at the Rosehill track where she has a strong record of two wins and a second to date, including the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) win and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) fourth back in March. Waller’s other four-year-old mare in the Theo Marks Stakes field this year is resuming dual Oaks winner Egg Tart.
The daughter of Sebring enjoyed a stellar three-year-old season headlined by the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) win in Adelaide and Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) success last time out in Brisbane.
She will be improving on whatever she does first-up, but does have winning form over the 1300m.
Egg Tart is on the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate path where she faces a clash with Waller’s dual champion Winx, and has Kerrin McEvoy aboard in the Theo Marks Stakes.
Waller’s contingent is completed by Good Project, Winx’s regular jockey Hugh Bowman booked to ride the six-year-old Not A Single Doubt entire.
Good Project hasn’t won a race since the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth back in November 2015 so is out to break a notable drought.
Runner-up in the same Ascot mile feature last summer, the galloper’s latest run was a fifth to Impending in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) and he carries 57.5kg as the second top weight on the weekend.
The sole last start winner in the mix is the Gerald Ryan-trained Deploy (56.5kg) who is drawn a treat in gate three.
An ultra-consistent son of Fastnet Rock, the gelding enjoyed a Randwick win in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) on August 19 and rises a kilo looking to secure successive victories.
Looking to break her luckless Rosehill record is the Ron Quinton-trained Street Sense mare Dixie Blossoms.
She has three minor placings from five starts at the track and races for the first time since her third to Foxplay in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Dixie Blossoms has trialled twice since at Randwick for back-to-back heat wins in August so looks fit and ready to go in her spring return.
Check out the full Theo Marks Stakes 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below with betting to open shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Theo Marks Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 5 (2:35pm) – 09/02/2017
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||14x24141x2||FOXPLAY||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||6||59kg||112|
|2||77x0472x5x||GOOD PROJECT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||7||57.5kg||105|
|4||214x31033x||DIXIE BLOSSOMS||Ron Quinton||Corey Brown||8||56kg||106|
|5||060x57864x||MIGHTY LUCKY||Fred Cowell||Chris O’Brien||2||55.5kg||101|
|6||431x11111x||EGG TART||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||4||55kg||104|
|7||10x20407x2||EURO ANGEL (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||1||53.5kg||101|
|8||6×15161112||CANNYESCENT||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Tim Clark||5||53kg||96|
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