Just eight runners have been confirmed to line up for this weekend’s Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by some of the 2014 racing calendar’s standout performers so far.
Without doubt one of the 2014 Autumn Carnival’s standout achievers, trainer David Payne has confirmed Criterion in the final field for the 2014 Hill Stakes.
Claiming an impressive total of five wins and five minor places from just 18 competitive starts to date, Criterion was unlucky not to secure a race win over an impressive 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; finishing second in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) most notably.
Returning in 2014 in undoubtable career-best form, the Sebring entire finishing fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), and while appearing to be fading in form when only managing eighth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th, responded in the best way possible when taking out the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) back-to-back.
Finishing third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) first-up on August 23rd before a luckless run in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) last time out, Criterion is likely to receive the run of the race from barrier 5 in the 2014 Hill Stakes.
Also confirmed in the final field for the 2014 Hill Stakes is classy Team Hawkes-trained runner Entirely Platinum.
A standout performer for the in-form stable over autumn, Entirely Platinum won each of his first three starts including the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (1900m) before placing a credible third amongst classy competition in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) on April 5th.
Returning to the track for a comfortable win ahead of strong competition in the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap (1400m) on August 16th, the Pentire gelding was unable to beat a single runner home in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) last time out on September 6th, but is offered a great chance of returning to the winner’s circle from barrier 3 this weekend.
Trainer Chris Waller is set to launch a four-pronged attack on the 2014 Hill Stakes, highlighted by the likes of Moriarty and Junoob.
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of leading British trainer Richard Hannon before transferring to the care of Waller at the conclusion of 2011, Moriarty steadily built to the task at hand over a long and busy spring and winter campaign early this year; arguably hitting peak condition upon arriving in Queensland.
Running on for fifth in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast on May 3rd, the Clodovil gelding again finished a fighting fifth in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 17th before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) on May 31st.
Returning to the paddock after finishing second in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m), Moriarty finished fifth in both the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) and Chelmsford Stakes in his first two starts this time in and appears primed for a polished performance in the 2014 Hill Stakes.
Claiming nine wins and eight minor places from 29 competitive starts so far, Junoob is also yet to figure in two starts this time in, but will leave from the ideal barrier 4 in the 2014 Hill Stakes.
A standout performer for Waller over the autumn the Haafhd gelding finished third in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) before claiming back-to-back victories in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) and Neville Sellwood Stakes most notably.
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2014 Hill Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||4655512×55||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||7||59kg||108|
|2||3×00243113||BAGMAN||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||6||59kg||105|
|3||1131143×86||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||4||59kg||105|
|4||22x1114x18||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||3||59kg||103|
|5||214x0x2x50||HONORIUS||David Payne||Jeff Lloyd||2||59kg||103|
|6||138×751351||MULTILATERAL (USA)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||8||59kg||96|
|7||4x42811x37||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||Corey Brown||5||58kg||110|
|8||8x08111x37||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||1||57kg||100|