12 fillies and mares have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, highlighted by the inclusion of some of the country’s standout racehorses.
Catkins boxed on for another agonizingly-close second in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 7th, and is sure to react favourably to a step-up in distance and step back in class for the 2015 Emancipation Stakes; a race she comfortably won in 2014.
Finishing outside the top three only a handful of times through her 30 start career so far, Catkins returned to racing in typically slick form over the 2014 Spring Carnival; winning the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) first-up and placing second in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) before running third in each of the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Having won each of the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) and Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) leading into the Canterbury Stakes this time, Catkins will be particularly difficult to beat with leading jockey James McDonald confirmed to take the ride on Saturday.
Scorpio Queen was unlucky to finish second by the bob of a head in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) last time out, but is offered a good chance of going one better from the central barrier 7 in the 2015 Emancipation Stakes.
Posting five wins and as many minor place finishes over her 28 start career so far, Scorpio Queen was a standout performer over the 2014 autumn and winter but was unable to make much of an impact over her two Group 1 targets in the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
Trainer Kris Lees has been thrilled with the work produced by the Choisir filly in recent weeks and is confident of a success return to Group 2 company in the 2015 Emancipation Stakes.
Three-year-old Peggy Jean has produced a couple of good performances amongst an inconsistent preparation so far this year, but is offered a great chance of figure in contention on Saturday with in-form hoop Tommy Berry confirmed for the ride.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), Peggy Jean finished a credible fourth in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up this time, and while beating just two runners home in the Group 2 Surround Stakes on February 28th, boxed on for a credible sixth in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago.
Peter and Paul Snowden’s Gypsy Diamond will leave from the ideal barrier 1 in the 2015 Emancipation Stakes, while Dear Demi has been charged with overcoming the wide and awkward barrier 12.
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2015 Emancipation Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||4x1233x112||CATKINS||Chris Waller||James McDonald||10||57kg||110|
|2||08x5217x50||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||–||12||57kg||107|
|3||480x01x805||HERA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Damian Browne||9||57kg||95|
|4||215x57x406||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||Tommy Berry||8||57kg||92|
|5||2x50950x34||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||1||56kg||97|
|6||24x511x530||MAHARA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||3||55kg||97|
|7||277x2111x1||MADAM GANGSTER||Lee & Shannon Hope||Craig Williams||6||55kg||90|
|8||152355×304||MY SABEEL (NZ)||Kevin Moses||Tim Clark||2||55kg||89|
|9||x97x654x92||SCORPIO QUEEN||Kris Lees||Christian Reith||7||54kg||93|
|10||950x2123x6||AMANPOUR||Gai Waterhouse||Kerrin McEvoy||11||54kg||88|
|11||73762x77x3||ANY DAY WILL DO||David Vandyke||Ms Kathy O’Hara||5||54kg||84|
|12||113×65||THINKING OF YOU (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Brenton Avdulla||4||53kg||76|