The barrier draw for the 2014 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) has been completed; more than throwing a spanner in the works for some of the feature race’s leading chances.
While appearing to be offered a great opportunity of successfully defending his 2013 victory in the Epsom Handicap, Boban may in fact find the going difficult on Saturday from barrier 1.
Claiming nine wins and two minor places from just 26 competitive starts so far, Boban has displayed a knack of winning from all alleys, but is suited to settling within the pack and hitting the line hard following a strong turn of foot in the final straight.
Winning the 2013 Epsom Handicap from barrier 10 after charging home down the outside, the Bernardini gelding may find he has no-where to go if swallowed up from jump on Saturday.
Returning to the races in prime condition this time in, Royal Descent will have to find good position early if to return to the winner’s circle in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap having drawn the reasonably wide and awkward barrier 11.
The winner of the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), Royal Descent has finished second in each of the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) so far this time in, but has been able to find a perfect position early having left from barriers 2, 1 and 2 in each respectively.
Arguably the biggest winner at Wednesday’s barrier draw for the 2014 Epsom Handicap, classy runner Star Rolling was unlucky to miss the cut in several of his major targets over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but is offered a great chance of maiden Group 1 glory from barrier 2 on Saturday.
Securing several impressive results over autumn highlighted by second in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) and third in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), the Casino Prince gelding charged home to win the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up this time, but has been unlucky to be blocked for a run in each of his last two starts.
Thrilled with the condition of his sole entrant in the 2014 Epsom Handicap, trainer Peter Morgan is confident jockey Linda Meech will get the best from Star Rolling from barrier 2.
Charged with overcoming the wide and awkward barrier 15, Spy Decoder will undoubtedly face his biggest racing test to date in the 2014 Epsom Handicap, and may find the going a little too difficult from the wide draw.
In-form runner Hooked will have a lot of work from jump after drawing barrier 14, while Chris Waller hopeful Lucky Chappy is offered a good chance of figuring from the ideal barrier 4 and just 52kgs.
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2014 Epsom Handicap Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x54170x455||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1||58kg||114|
|2||5x4525x222||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||11||55.5kg||113|
|3||6x85506x38||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||8||55.5kg||109|
|4||13x820x883||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||12||53.5kg||107|
|5||5x5239x168||STAR ROLLING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Ms Linda Meech||2||53kg||104|
|6||x2340x3131||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||10||52.5kg||103|
|7||14x0x2x505||HONORIUS||David Payne||Ms Winona Costin (a)||6||52.5kg||102|
|8||585534×471||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Sam Clipperton||14||52kg||100|
|9||01x385x733||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Chris Munce||9||52kg||100|
|10||75x0x0x644||LUCKY CHAPPY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jeff Lloyd||4||52kg||96|
|11||x004441140||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Anthony Allen||7||52kg||94|
|12||3947223×02||LIBERTY’S CHOICE||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||5||52kg||90|
|13||1231626×94||PHEIDON||Gai Waterhouse||Thomas Huet||3||52kg||86|
|14||1146276×61||WOODBINE||Gai Waterhouse||Christian Reith||13||52kg||86|
|15||21144×527||SPY DECODER (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Jay Ford||15||52kg||73|