Thirteen runners have been confirmed in the 2016 Epsom Handicap field, following the completion of a barrier draw for Saturday’s feature race at Royal Randwick this morning.
Godolphin runner Hauraki has returned to racing in slick form this time and has drawn, perhaps ideally, into the 2016 Epsom Handicap field in barrier 10 with James McDonald in the saddle.
Placed at Group 1 level multiple times, Hauraki was one of Godolphin’s more consistent performers in autumn and early winters this year; running third to Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) before placing a close second in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
Ending his campaign second in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane, the Reset gelding stormed home to win the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) first-up this time before placing second in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago.
Palentino beat a talented field to the line in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) last time out and will jump from barrier 9 in the Epsom Handicap.
Placing seventh in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) upon resuming this year, Palentino lost the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) on protest on February 20th, but responded in the best way possible with a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Rounding out his season second in the Group 2 Alister Clarke Stakes (2040m), the Teofilo entire ran fourth in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) first-up this time; progressing to fifth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) in his only other start prior to the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Le Romain stamped himself as one to watch through the recent Autumn Carnival and has drawn into the Epsom Handicap field in barrier 3, with leading hoop Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Making a competitive transition to black type company when second to Spill The Beans in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) on February 6th, the Hard Spun gelding again finished second to champion colt Press Statement in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m), before turning the table with success in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
Failing to fire when seventh in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Le Romain has finished second in each of the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m), Tramway Stakes and Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1350m) this time in.
Doncaster Mile runner-up Happy Clapper has been unable to make much of his two runs this time in, but has been confirmed in the 2016 Epsom Handicap field by trainer Pat Webster and will leave from the rails draw.
Jason Attard’s stable star Sons Of John will carry winning form into the Epsom Handicap after taking out the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) a fortnight ago and will jump from the outside gate.
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2016 Epsom Handicap Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1x7212x451||PALENTINO||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||9||57kg||111|
|2||x332722x12||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||James McDonald||10||56kg||109|
|3||x12217x222||LE ROMAIN||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||3||55.5kg||108|
|4||11x4523x56||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Brenton Avdulla||1||55kg||107|
|5||151x1261x7||MIGHTY LUCKY||Fred Cowell||Chris O’Brien||12||54.5kg||106|
|6||99x4249x23||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damian Lane||11||54kg||105|
|7||2380x05x61||SONS OF JOHN||Jason Attard||Glen Boss||13||53kg||103|
|8||14101110×1||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||2||52kg||101|
|9||2x21x62511||MCCREERY (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||4||51.5kg||100|
|10||231122×416||HEAVENS ABOVE||Tim Martin||Corey Brown||8||51kg||103|
|11||11x0649x54||VANBRUGH||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||7||51kg||99|
|12||887203×522||TORGERSEN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||5||50kg||90|
|13||31x116x141||FABRIZIO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Johan Victoire||6||50kg||83|