Just nine runners have been confirmed in the final field for this weekend’s Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick Racecourse, highlighted by some of the Spring Racing Carnival’s most exciting three-year-old fillies.
Returning to racing in exceptional form this season, trainer John Thompson has confirmed First Seal in the final field for the 2014 Flight Stakes.
Unlucky to be blocked for a run in the final straight and fourth in the Drummond Golf Plate (1250m) on debut on May 14th, Thompson’s decision to bypass both autumn and winter events with First Seal appears to already be paying dividends.
Charging home to win the Daily Press Group Plate (1100m) first-up on August 13th, the Fastnet Rock filly finished second to classy runner Sweynesse in the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1400m) on August 30th before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) last time out; beating out the likes of fellow Flight Stakes acceptor Winx and Blue Diamond Stakes champion Earthquake.
Allocated the central barrier 5, Thompson is confident leading jockey Blake Shinn will get the best from his sole Flight Stakes entrant this weekend.
Becoming just the second runner to deliver Earthquake a competitive defeat when charging home to win the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) first-up on September 6th, trainer Chris Waller is offered an excellent chance of success in the Flight Stakes with Winx.
Claiming three wins and just the one second place from her four competitive starts so far, the daughter of Street Cry won two minors over winter before taking a brief spell and returning for her Furious Stakes triumph and Tea Rose second.
Required to overcome the wide barrier 8, jockey Hugh Bowman is sure to boost the chances of success for Winx this weekend.
Running on for a credible seventh in the featured Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) last time out on September 13th, Press Report is arguably offered her best chance of top line success in the 2014 Flight Stakes, but will also have to overcome a reasonably wide draw in barrier 7.
Finishing an impressive second to subsequent Golden Slipper champion Mossfun in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) to the beginning of autumn, the Written Tycoon filly reportedly worked well in the lead-up to the Flight Stakes on Tuesday morning and has trainer Lee Curtis confident he is saddling a legitimate chance of success.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse is set to launch a three-pronged attack on the 2014 Flight Stakes, arguably headlined by classy filly Twirl.
Finishing outside the places just once in her five starts on track to date, Twirl finished third in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) on February 15th; continuing to impress via second in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) and a credible sixth amongst classy company in the Group 3 Reisling Stakes (1200m) on March 22nd.
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2014 Flight Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||11×12||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||8||56kg||92|
|2||4×121||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||5||56kg||91|
|3||2x247x4167||PRESS REPORT||Lee Curtis||Ms Winona Costin (a)||7||56kg||75|
|4||180x9x1102||ECHO GAL||Gai Waterhouse||–||4||56kg||78|
|6||11||THINKING OF YOU (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Joshua Parr||3||56kg||70|
|7||36×136||LADY SHARAPOVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||6||56kg||74|
|9||3514||DYNAMIC ROCK||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||2||56kg||67|