A less-than capacity field of eleven runners have been confirmed to line up for this weekend’s Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several exciting 2014 Spring Racing Carnival prospects.
Godolphin is set to be offered two good chances of success in the 2014 Concorde Stakes, with trainer John O’Shea accepting positions in the final field for classy stable mates Sessions and Safeguard.
Claiming a commendable total of five race wins and four minor places from just 15 competitive starts, Sessions is set to be offered a great chance of first-up success in the 2014 Concorde Stakes after being allocated the ideal barrier 4.
A notable performer through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, the Lonhro entire finished second in the most recent edition of the Concorde Stakes before charging home to win the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) just two weeks later.
Unlucky to finish just outside the places when blocked for a run in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) on October 5th, Sessions arguably completed his most impressive performance to date when charging home to finish within a length of Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) on October 25th.
While unable to break through for another race win over four autumn starts, which did include a strong run for fourth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), O’Shea is pleased with the five-year-old’s condition and is expecting a strong first-up performance.
Unable to make much of an impact despite finish third in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) through the 2014 Autumn and Winter Carnivals, Safeguard has secured a total of three race wins and as many minor places over 12 competitive starts.
A notable performer in first-up races, the Exceed And Excel entire won the Christmas Season Plate (1000m) on debut in 2012, the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at the beginning of his 2013 autumn and the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at the beginning of his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Allocated the ideal barrier 3, Safeguard has been confirmed to be partnered by renowned jockey Kerrin McEvoy this weekend.
Joe Pride is also set to launch a two-pronged attack on the 2014 Concorde Stakes, accepting positions in the final field for this weekend’s Group 3 for both Rain Affair and Target In Sight.
Disappointing over three black type starts in autumn, Pride is confident recent work and form displayed in barrier trials will translate into career-best form for Rain Affair through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Charging home to win the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) at the beginning of his 2013 spring campaign, the Commands gelding finished third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and returned to the paddock following a luckless run for sixth in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) on September 14th.
Yet to contest an event in black type company, Target In Sight more than earned a position in the final field of the 2014 Concorde Stakes after jogging home to win the TAB Rewards 3.y.o+ (1000m) with ease first-up on August 9th.
While charged with overcoming the slightly awkward barrier 8, the Nadeem gelding’s chances of success took a huge boost on Wednesday when confirmed to be partnered by veteran jockey Jim Cassidy.
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2014 Concorde Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1430x6400x||SESSIONS||John O’Shea||James McDonald||4||59kg||105|
|2||2638x0256x||SAFEGUARD||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||3||58.5kg||92|
|3||0x136x090x||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Blake Shinn||2||58kg||105|
|4||1x2410x46x||I’M ALL THE TALK||Gary Portelli||Brenton Avdulla||1||58kg||88|
|5||4x43113x6x||AUSSIES LOVE SPORT||Gai Waterhouse||Joshua Parr||5||58kg||86|
|6||x73x1x558x||WHITTINGTON||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||11||57kg||97|
|7||88x244130x||DIDNTCOSTALOT||Marc Conners||Jason Collett||9||56kg||92|
|8||9x113152x1||TARGET IN SIGHT||Joseph Pride||Jim Cassidy||8||56kg||90|
|9||40×4246334||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||Sam Clipperton||7||56kg||79|
|10||114x11x||ATMOSPHERICAL||David Pfieffer||Tim Clark||10||55kg||80|
|11||101301×210||NUCLEAR CLASS||Tas Morton||–||6||54kg||82|