A particularly talented field of eight has accepted for the 2014 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm racecourse on Saturday, including several previous winners at Group 1 level.
A mouth-watering showdown between two of the country’s top performers in 2013 has been set, with talented miler Boban and It’s A Dundeel both confirmed for the 2014 Chipping Norton; the latter to make his first-up appearance for 2014.
It’s A Dundeel produced arguably the best 2013 autumn preparation of any Australian runner; scoring wins in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m), Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and finishing a strong second behind Reliable Man in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Featuring as the only runner to claim a win over equine superstar Atlantic Jewel after winning by a nose in the 2013 Underwood Stakes, trainer Murray Baker is happy with the way the talented High Chaparral entire has returned to work in 2014 and is confident of first-up success at Group 1 level, particularly after drawing barrier 1.
Boban was without doubt the performer of the 2013 spring, claiming five wins from as many starts including the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m)
Having returned to the track in less-than-convincing form in 2013, Boban was unable to match the late pace of Appearance and finished sixth in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up before again failing to fire when fourth, again behind Appearance in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 22nd.
Despite the slow start, trainer Chris Waller is still confident of another winning season for the star Bernardini gelding, and will set his sights on the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) following this weekend’s feature at Warwick Farm.
Waller is set to dominate the running of the 2014 Chipping Norton Stakes, having also accepted positions for Hawkspur and Irish import Moriarty.
Despite figuring as a leading contender in the majority of events he lined up for over the 2013 spring, Hawkspur was largely unable to live up to the hype that followed his campaign everywhere an ended the forgettable season 20th in the Melbourne Cup.
Having peaked too early in the running of the Group 1 C.F Orr Stakes (1400m) first-up on February 8th, the Purrealist gelding could do nothing but watch his competitors sail past in the final straight, eventually finishing well off the pace in 6th (of 6).
Putting that result down to lack of race fitness, Waller has geared Hawkspur towards appearances in the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and believes the four-year-old will find those events in career best form.
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2014 Chipping Norton Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||41112x418x||IT’S A DUNDEEL (NZ)||Murray Baker||James McDonald||1||59kg||117|
|2||9x11111x54||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||4||59kg||114|
|3||1x714570x6||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||5||59kg||110|
|4||x041503x83||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||7||59kg||109|
|5||77×8481131||MONTON||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton (a)||2||59kg||106|
|6||6x00x8200x||GLENCADAM GOLD (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||6||59kg||105|
|7||12x1x3116x||PRINCE CHERI (FR)||David Vandyke||Jay Ford||3||59kg||100|
|8||1136×1||ORDER OF THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||8||56kg||73|