A small but talented field of nine has been confirmed to line up for the 2014 Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick this weekend, including several leading performers over the current Australian racing season.
Finishing an impressive third when rated a rank outsider in the major Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) last time out on April 12th, Hooked has been confirmed in the final field for the 2014 Frank Packer Plate.
While yet to break through for another race win since recording back-to-back victories in his two debut appearances in the 2013 autumn, Hooked has continued a particularly consistent racing career; finishing fourth in all four of his 2013 spring events which included three races at Group 3 level and the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on October 12th.
Returning to the track in similar form this time in, the Casino Prince colt finished fifth amongst classy competition in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) first-up, and while unable to figure in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) continued in his competitive ways when fifth in both the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) prior to the Derby.
While allocated the slightly wide barrier 8, trainer John P Thompson has confirmed regular jockey Blake Shinn will retain the ride this weekend, and is relishing the thought of improved track conditions.
Also included in the final field for the 2014 Frank Packer Plate is talented Gai Waterhouse-trained pair Equator and Pheidon.
While yet to hit peak condition in either of his two starts this time in, Equator will be offered a good opportunity to reverse his fortunes this weekend, having been allocated the ideal barrier 3 for the Frank Packer Plate.
Securing three wins and two places from only six competitive starts so far, Pheidon arguably offers Waterhouse her greatest chance of success this weekend, particularly after receiving the inside barrier.
Unlucky to finish sixth when blocked for a run in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) last time out, the Al Maher gelding strolled home to win the Group 2 Alister Clarke Stakes (2040m) on March 14th and has been confirmed to be partnered by last weekend’s standout jockey Tommy Berry in the Frank Packer Plate.
Trainer Peter Snowden will also be offered twice the chance of Frank Packer Plate success this weekend, having accepted positions in the final field for classy duo Shikra (barrier 9) and Malice (barrier 7).
Securing two wins from five starts this preparation alone, Shikra is likely to return to the spelling paddock following this weekend’s Group 3 ahead of a busy spring preparation.
A consistent performer in securing two wins and three places from seven starts to date, Malice finished fifth in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) last time out and is likely to be partnered by Kerrin McEvoy once more this weekend.
Removed from the field for last weekend’s $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) to ensure a full recovery, trainer David Vandyke has confirmed in-from runner Arabian Gold will contest the Frank Packer Plate this weekend.
Contesting six wins and two places over only 15 competitive starts, the Dubawi filly produced a strong turn of foot to finish nearly two lengths in the clear of all rivals in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) last time out, and poses a serious threat to the Frank Packer Plate from the ideal barrier 2 and with champion jockey Damien Oliver on board.
Show The World (barrier 4), Gamblestown (barrier 6) and Takewing (barrier 5) complete the final field for the 2014 Frank Packer Plate.
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2014 Frank Packer Plate Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||4444×58553||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||8||56.5kg||96|
|2||112316||PHEIDON||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||1||56.5kg||85|
|3||3x93632x70||EQUATOR||Gai Waterhouse||Brenton Avdulla||3||56.5kg||81|
|4||3121×007||SHOW THE WORLD (NZ)||Murray Baker||James McDonald||4||56.5kg||76|
|5||1324×29928||GAMBLESTOWN (NZ)||Guy Walter||Jim Cassidy||6||56.5kg||73|
|8||33925941||TAKEWING||Jason Coyle||Nash Rawiller||5||56.5kg||66|
|9||24146×5801||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||Damien Oliver||2||54.5kg||91|