Just ten runners have been confirmed to line up for this weekend’s featured Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
Returning to the track in excellent form this time in, trainer Kris Lees has confirmed classy mare Lucia Valentina in the final field for the 2014 George Main Stakes.
Beginning her racing career abroad in her native New Zealand before transferring to the care of Lees at the beginning of the year, Lucia Valentina was a standout performer of the 2014 Autumn Carnival and is more than a chance of securing a second Group 1 title this weekend from the central barrier 6.
Running on for third in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) first-up on March 8th, the Savabeel mare appeared well and truly outclassed with finishing 12th in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd, but responded in the best way possible when charging home to win the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on April 5th.
Returning to the paddock after finishing third in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 19th, Lucia Valentina displayed an exceptional turn of foot in the final straight to win the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) first-up on September 6th, and will be partnered by retaining jockey Kerrin McEvoy in the George Main Stakes.
Trainer Chris Waller is set to launch a two-pronged attack on the 2014 George Main Stakes, accepting positions in the final field for classy stable mates Sacred Falls and Hawkspur.
Claiming eight wins and three minors from 21 starts so far, Sacred Falls has returned to racing in great form this year, finishing fourth in both the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before charging home to win the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships; successfully defending his 2013 crown in the same event.
Finishing second to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) just one week later, the O’reilly entire finished fourth in both the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) first-up this season and appears primed for a return to the winner’s circle over ideal distance in the George Main Stakes.
Touted as one to watch over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Hawkspur was unable to live up to the hype which seemed to follow his preparation from race to race; fading to finish a disappointing 20th in the Melbourne Cup.
Steadily build to the task over five starts in autumn which were arguably highlighted by a close run for third in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), the Purrealist gelding following up two competitive runs in the Group 1 Missile Stakes (1200m) and Warwick Stakes with an impressive victory in the Chelmsford Stakes last time out, and is likely to receive a great run from the ideal barrier 4 this weekend.
Arguably hitting career-best form over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, trainers Peter and Paul Snowden have confirmed Gypsy Diamond for the 2014 George Main Stakes.
Running on for second behind Sweet Idea in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up on February 22nd, Gypsy Diamond appeared to be fading in from when following-up a run for fourth in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) with a flat run for ninth in the Coolmore Classic, but returned to excellent form when winning the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) and finishing second in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 19th.
While yet to figure in two starts this time in, the return to a mile, condition of track and general running conditions of the George Main Stakes are likely to play directly into the strengths of the Not A Single Doubt filly this weekend.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best odds on the 2014 George Main Stakes!
Open an account and deposit at Ladbrokes.com.au today to claim a bonus bet of up to $250 in time for this weekend’s impressive Randwick card!
2014 George Main Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||35x4412x44||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||1||59kg||116|
|2||x63440x751||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||4||59kg||111|
|3||16x85506x3||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Corey Brown||3||59kg||109|
|4||313x820x88||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||–||9||59kg||105|
|5||x355430x21||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Chris Munce||5||58.5kg||90|
|6||05x4525x22||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||2||57kg||113|
|7||1F2x3013x1||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||6||56.5kg||108|
|8||11312241×4||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||James McDonald||7||56.5kg||105|
|9||4x24912x50||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||10||56.5kg||100|
|10||121||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||Brenton Avdulla||8||50.5kg||85|