A less-than capacity field of eleven three-year-olds has been confirmed for this weekend’s Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several notable runners over the 2014 autumn two-year-old season.
Godolphin is set to launch a two-pronged attack on the 2014 Up And Coming Stakes, having accepted positions in the final field for talented stable mates Kumaon and Meursault.
Finishing outside the places just once in five starts so far, Kumaon impressed immediately when debuting with a handy victory in the Golden Gift Open (1100m) on December 21st before finishing third behind notable sprinters Fighting Sun and Boomwaa in the ATC Membership On Sale Plate (1100m) at Rosehill on January 4th.
Charging home to finish second in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) on March 29th, the Lonhro colt was disappointing when sixth in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 12th, but returned to competitive form when running on for third in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) most recently on April 26th.
Allocated the ideal inside barrier, Kumaon has been confirmed to be partnered by premiership winning jockey James McDonald and is more than a chance of first-up success in the Up And Coming Stakes.
Offered a slightly more difficult task from barrier 9, Meursault has contested just one race start to date, however more than stamped his claims as one to watch in charging home to win the Claret Stakes (1300m) by more than three lengths on May 3rd.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse is also set to be offered twice the chance of success in the 2014 Up And Coming Stakes, having accepted into the final field with classy pair Valentia and Liberation.
Included in nominations for the 2014 Cox Plate, Valentia arguably offers Waterhouse the best chance of success in the 2014 Up And Coming Stakes, despite having drawn the wide and awkward barrier 10.
Finishing third behind boom colt Rubick in the TAB Iphone App Plate (1000m) on debut in January, Valentia secured impressive victories back-to-back in the Ritz Cinema Handicap (1200m) and Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m), but has not been seen at the races since failing to fire in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on April 5th.
Unable to make much of an impact over two starts in his maiden racing preparation through early autumn, Liberation has returned to racing in exceptional condition this time in; winning the Inglis Race Series Handicap (1200m) by close to three lengths first-up before finishing a close second to Press Report in the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1300m) at Rosehill on August 2nd.
Likely to receive the run of the race from barrier 3, Liberation is yet to be confirmed for a path beyond the 2014 Up And Coming Stakes, but will be partnered by in-form hoop Tim Clark on Saturday.
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2014 Up And Coming Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||3110x||VALENTIA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||10||59kg||82|
|2||13x263x||KUMAON||John O’Shea||James McDonald||1||58.5kg||81|
|3||7×11||SCISSOR KICK||Paul Messara||Tye Angland||5||54.5kg||73|
|4||65×12||LIBERATION||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||3||54kg||70|
|5||1x||MEURSAULT||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||9||54kg||70|
|6||11x||SHOOTING TO WIN||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||8||54kg||69|
|7||1×2||BETTER LAND||Peter G Moody||Glyn Schofield||7||54kg||66|
|8||9x6137x||LORD BECKWORTH||Paul Perry||Jeff Lloyd||6||54kg||64|
|9||1||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2||54kg||64|
|10||617×5||HERO I AM||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||4||54kg||63|
|11||–||ROAD TO SHANGRI LA (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||11||54kg||–|