The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained resuming star Mr Brightside is short priced favourite to salute for the punters fresh and go back-to-back as the defending champion in the 2023 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield this Saturday.
The countdown to the spring majors begins in earnest on the weekend with a key lead-up taking place in Melbourne in the form of the Group 2 $300,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
A host of weight-for-age stars get things underway in the Lawrence including the current $2.05 top elect at Ladbrokes.com.au, Mr Brightside, who is looking to become the first dual champion since Tauto (1971, 1972).
The now six-year-old son of Bullbars capped off a career best campaign last prep when saluting at WFA in the $5 million All-Star Mile at The Valley before best handling a Heavy (9) Randwick track to take out the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
He has solid form fresh ahead of his campaign kick-off this weekend, gets Craig Williams in the saddle, and boasts a strong 1400m record.
The “danger” occupying the second line of PB Lawrence Stakes betting this season at a more generous $6.50 is the Lindsey Smith-trained Tuvalu drawn out in gate 16 for jockey Blake Shinn.
The Kermadec gelding chases his first victory since the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) with less weight at this track in early October last year.
He was brave at his next start a half-length off Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Champions Mile (1600m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival before a disappointing autumn.
Tuvalu was unplaced in his two starts earlier this year, but is tipped to improve with better placement this time in.
Despite the size of the field just one other runner is at single-figures with the Mitchell Freedman-trained Attrition ($7.50) looking to make an impact fresh.
Ben Melham rides the four-year-old Churchill entire whose last start saw him beaten a neck by Legarto at Flemington in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Some of the better fancied double-figure hopefuls after an upset include the consistent Pinstriped ($14) up in grade, the Andrew Forsman-trained Kiwi raider Aegon ($15), and the Chris Waller-trained Cox Plate third place-getter from last spring El Bodegon ($21).
The P.B. Lawrence Stakes 2023 is set to run as Caulfield Race 9 at 4:40pm (AEST) as the penultimate event on Saturday’s 10-race card.
2023 P.B. Lawrence Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||5473x5211x||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben, Will & JD Hayes||Craig Williams||10||59kg||116|
|2||411x46x70x||REGAL POWER||John Leek (Jnr)||Beau Mertens||4||59kg||106|
|3||11x312x79x||TUVALU||Lindsey Smith||Blake Shinn||16||59kg||111|
|4||6142x6495x||AEGON (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Michael Dee||17||59kg||105|
|5||12x55x759x||WESTERN EMPIRE (NZ)||John Leek (Jnr)||Ethan Brown||6||59kg||105|
|6||233x3x907x||EL BODEGON (IRE)||Chris Waller||Damian Lane||8||59kg||111|
|7||611232821x||FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Damian Lane||3||59kg||106|
|8||76006×5118||KING MAGNUS||Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock||Jamie Mott||15||59kg||104|
|9||582111263x||POUNDING||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Luke Nolen||9||59kg||106|
|10||05037x620x||BUFFALO RIVER (USA)||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||1||59kg||96|
|11||60x534113x||PINSTRIPED||Enver Jusufovic||Ben Allen||5||59kg||101|
|12||220151x86x||UNCLE BRYN (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Mark Zahra||7||59kg||104|
|13||1615x4430x||FORGOT YOU (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Daniel Moor||18||59kg||94|
|14||411x2400x9||GOLDEN MILE||James Cummings||14||58.5kg||105|
|15||33x1152x||ATTRITION||Mitchell Freedman||Ben Melham||12||58.5kg||95|
|16e||0455×81143||CHASSIS||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||2||57kg||94|
|17e||9x2415931x||DENY KNOWLEDGE (IRE)||Michael Kent||13||57kg||93|
|18e||x700500x81||EDISON||Nick Ryan||Craig Newitt||11||59kg||91|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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