In-form sprinter Snitzerland will be aiming to continue her perfect start to 2014 at Royal Randwick this weekend, having been confirmed in the final field for the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m).
Unable to secure a win at Group 1 level in her 16 race starts prior to 2014; Snitzerland opened her current preparation in the best way possible, leading from start to finish to claim the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) ahead of a talented field on February 15th.
Trainer Gerald Ryan has outlined the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 12th as the major target for the talented Snitzel mare this season, and is confident of a second-straight Group level win this weekend, despite drawing the slightly awkward barrier 9.
Leading Queensland sprinter Buffering has been confirmed to make his first-up appearance for 2014 in the Challenge Stakes this weekend, and is aiming for a fourth-straight race win after closing his memorable spring preparation with three-straight Group 1 victories.
Robert Heathcote is yet to decide on a path for his stable’s star this preparation, by is likely to contest the remaining sprint events in Sydney before returning to Brisbane for the winter carnival.
Fellow-Queensland-based raider Temple Of Boom will have to overcome the wide barrier 9 if any chance in the 2014 Challenge Stakes.
Having debuted on course at the beginning of 2009, Temple Of Boom is one of the most experienced runners accepted in the Challenge Stakes field, and will be partnered by jockey Hugh Bowman for the first time since an unsuccessful defence on the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 2013.
Yet to reach peak condition in 2014, Bel Sprinter is another 2014 Challenge Stakes entrant eyeing an appearance in the TJ Smith Stakes, and will have his work cut out for him from the outset after drawing the outside barrier 10.
Trainer Jason Warren is also considering a defence of his 2013 The Galaxy title for Bel Sprinter this preparation, who will need to secure a good performance this weekend if to figure in serious calculation for major proceeding events.
A total of 10 runners have accepted positions in the final field for the 2014 Challenge Stakes at Royal Randwick this weekend.
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2014 Challenge Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1432x2111x||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||3||58.5kg||118|
|2||x132x668x9||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Craig Newitt||10||58.5kg||110|
|3||100x63135x||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Tim Clark||6||58.5kg||107|
|5||570x22805x||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Hugh Bowman||9||58.5kg||105|
|6||4x590x80x1||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||1||58.5kg||104|
|7||6x127x82x1||SNITZERLAND||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||8||56.5kg||111|
|8||280x40019x||SATIN SHOES||Clarry Conners||Blake Shinn||2||56.5kg||104|
|9||x210x73x1x||WHITTINGTON||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4||56kg||95|
|10||x270x2440x||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||James McDonald||5||54kg||84|