The 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes final field and barrier draw have been released with defending champion Theseo drawing wide with gate 12 in the opening Group 1 race of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The $750,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) is the marquee event on the Warwick Farm race-card this Saturday, March 5.
This year’s showdown has attracted a brilliant final field of 13 acceptors including nine Group 1 winners and last year’s Chipping Norton Stakes winner Theseo.
Seven-year-old Danewin gelding Theseo is set to jump from barrier 12 with Nash Rawiller in the mount as the Gai Waterhouse-trained veteran attempts successive victories in the mile showdown.
Theseo will line-up alongside three of his stablemates with Waterhouse also represented in the Chipping Norton Stakes field by last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Descarado (barrier 11), Lorne Dancer (barrier 10) and Once Were Wild (barrier nine).
Maluckyday has come up with barrier seven in the Chipping Norton Stakes, last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up behind Americain resuming for the season with Jim Cassidy booked for the ride.
Zabeel four-year-old Maluckyday showed they were ready to return and run in a Group 1 first-up after hitting the line well in a 900m barrier trial at Rosehill on Tuesday morning.
Other top picks in the Chipping Norton Stakes 2011 field include:
Danleigh (Chris Waller) – Seven-year-old Mujahid gelding third-up for the season, looking to break a 10 ½ month drought not having won since taking out the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes last April, was third in last year’s Chipping Norton behind Theseo
Centennial Park (David Payne) – In-form five-year-old won the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up this year at Rosehill before finishing third behind Melito in the Apollo Stakes on February 19
Melito (Gerald Ryan) – Last start winner of the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill, quality Redoute’s Choice mare seeking her first win over the mile but suffering a blow with the far outside barrier 13
Two horses dropped out of Chipping Norton Stakes contention from nomination stage with the Peter Snowden-trained Skilled and Chris Waller’s multiple Group 1 winner Metal Bender, spelled and ruled out of the remainder of the autumn, not paid up for.
Scheduled as Warwick Farm Race 6 this Saturday, the Chipping Norton Stakes is accompanied by two other Group races with More Strawberries the favourite for the $200,000 Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) and a quality field running in the $125,000 Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m).
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2011 Chipping Norton Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|1||THESEO||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||12||59||118|
|2||DESCARADO (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry (a)||11||59||115|
|4||ZAVITE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Brad Pengelly||1||59||108|
|5||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||David Payne||–||3||59||108|
|6||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||Corey Brown||2||59||108|
|7||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jim Cassidy||7||59||106|
|8||VISION AND POWER (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Timothy Bell (a)||4||59||106|
|9||LUEN YAT FOREVER||Peter G Moody||–||5||59||105|
|10||LORNE DANCER||Gai Waterhouse||Joshua Parr||10||59||105|
|11||MELITO||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||13||57||115|
|12||SACRED CHOICE||Joseph Pride||–||6||57||110|
|13||ONCE WERE WILD||Gai Waterhouse||Rod Quinn||9||57||108|