Just eleven three-years-old and upwards fillies and mares have been confirmed in the final field for this weekend’s Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens, including several in-form runners of the 2014 racing season.
Having returned to the track in typically strong form this preparation, classy mare Catkins arguably highlights the final field for the 2014 Emancipation Stakes, and is offered a great opportunity to continue her strong run after receiving the central barrier 6 for this weekend’s Group 2.
Amassing 10 races wins and seven places from only 20 competitive starts to date, Catkins is undeniably one of the strongest Australian racehorses not to have claimed a Group 1 title.
Finishing no worse than third in six races over the 2013 spring, the Dubawi mare finished second in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) before winning the Group 2 Sportingbet Sprint (1200m) on September 21st.
Winning the Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) by more than a length, Catkins was unlucky to finish second by a nose to stable mate Red Tracer in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on November second.
Claiming back-to-back victories in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) and Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) to open her 2014 account ahead of fellow Emancipation Stakes acceptor Sharnee Rose in each, Catkins was unable to justify favouritism in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m), finishing a length off the pace of Steps In Time and Sweet Idea in third.
Trainer Chris Waller has an understandably high opinion of star four-year-old, and is confident of carrying winning form through to the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 19th.
Talented five-year-old Sharnee Rose is likely to be offered the run of the race in the 2014 Emancipation Stakes after drawing barrier 7, just one gate outside Catkins.
Securing four wins and 11 places from 28 race starts to far, Sharnee Rose has returned to the track in good condition this time in, finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Classic first-up and second to Catkins in the Wiggle Stakes before an unlucky run for seventh in the Coolmore Classic.
With the option of running in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12th, trainer Kris Lees will let results in the Emancipation Stakes dictate the path for the Nadeem mare next-up.
Surprisingly the only runner carry winning form into the 2014 Emancipation Stakes (1500m), Diamond Drille has steadily built to the task over her current preparation, finishing fifth in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) first-up and unable to figure in contention when eighth in the Wiggle Stakes before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) last time out.
Having drawn the inside barrier for the Emancipation Stakes, trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident the Al Maher mare is capable of stringing together a good run of wins ahead of a hopeful appearance in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Waterhouse will launch a two-pronged attack on the 2014 Emancipation Stakes, having also accepted a position in the final field for Vaquera.
While yet to hit peak condition over her current campaign, Waterhouse is confident the High Chaparral mare will return to the form that delivered two strong wins and three places throughout a strong 2013 autumn preparation, including a competitive third in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m).
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2014 Emancipation Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||221312×113||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||6||56kg||110|
|2||x60114x427||SHARNEE ROSE||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||7||55.5kg||104|
|3||423x361x28||FLORIA (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Craig Newitt||4||55.5kg||100|
|5||3x1340x837||VAQUERA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||10||55kg||89|
|6||16121×581||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||1||55kg||84|
|7||400x04500x||ALZORA||Anthony Cummings||Christian Reith||11||55kg||82|
|8||804060×223||YOU’RE SO GOOD (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Damian Lane||2||54kg||91|
|9||0x97x210x4||ANGEL OF MERCY||Gerald Ryan||Chad Schofield||5||54kg||89|
|11||22×126||LORNA MAY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||8||53kg||75|