2015 Apollo Stakes Field Features Top Mares

February 11th, 2015

Two top mares headline a star-studded Apollo Stakes 2015 field at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney this Saturday with resuming Group 1 champions Silent Achiever and Lucia Valentina both kicking off their autumn campaigns.

Silent Achiever

Last year’s Ranvet Stakes – The BMW double winner Silent Achiever is back in Sydney this autumn starting with the Apollo Stakes 2015 on the weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

One of four Group races on the Randwick line-up this weekend, the $250,000 Group 2 Optus Apollo Stakes (1400m) is the drawcard event running as Race 6 at 4:15pm (local).

A final field of 15 is set to face off including Roger James’s visiting Kiwi mare Silent Achiever who has international plans heading to France for the coveted Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

She was on fire last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival winning the Ranvet Stakes – The BMW double at Rosehill, form James is hoping she can bring again this season starting in the Apollo Stakes.

Drawn one on her outside in barrier nine for jockey Hugh Bowman is then the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina whose regular rider during the spring Kerrin McEvoy rides her Kiwi rival in the Apollo.

Also boasting multiple Group 1 wins, the four-year-old daughter of Savabeel’s most recent elite level was in the Turnbull Stakes over 2000m at Flemington last October.

She finished off her spring with a run in both legs of the coveted Cups’ double running a brave third in the Caulfield Cup before failing to really run out the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup when 13th behind her now stablemate Protectionist.

Her first-up form is always excellent however with two wins and a third from three previous runs off a spell and she also won over the Randwick 1400m at Group 2 level on a mud track back in September.

There are three last start winners in the Apollo Stakes field this year though that boast a fitness advantage including Gerald Ryan’s flying Excites gelding Red Excitement.

He’s won his past five straight starts including a victory over this distance but at Flemington in Melbourne’s Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) on January 14.

The other last start winners looking for another success are Carrington Stakes winner Ninth Legion out wide in barrier 15, one further out than Red Excitements in 14, and the Chris Waller-trained French import Weary jumping from 13 with Tommy Berry aboard.

One of an imposing six final acceptors for the state’s premier trainer, Astronomer Royal grey Weary won the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up on January 31 and shoots for his maiden Randwick win this weekend.

Also coming via the Expressway for Waller are ninth and 11th past the post behind their winning stablemate respectively – Boban and Hawkspur.

Waller’s contingent is then rounded out by Foreteller, Junoob and his likely best chance at success He’s Your Man.

Jumping from barrier seven for Blake Shinn, Cape Cross six-year-old He’s Your Man is another French import for Waller who was in flying form last time in.

He won a host of races including the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick, and was also beaten a mere nose by Happy Trails last start in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1.

Other notable Apollo Stakes hopes include the John O’Shea-trained European import Contributer for Godolphin, and Peter and Paul Snowden’s Newcastle Cup champ Disclaimer.

See below for the full Apollo Stakes 2015 field and barrier draw.

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2015 Apollo Stakes Final Field & Barriers

Royal Randwick – Saturday February 14, 2015

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt. Hcp. Rating
1 170x4559x9 BOBAN Chris Waller Glyn Schofield 2 59kg 113
2 89x431850x FORETELLER (GB) Chris Waller Jason Collett 5 59kg 113
3 40x313112x HE’S YOUR MAN (FR) Chris Waller Blake Shinn 7 59kg 110
4 x7514080x0 HAWKSPUR Chris Waller Jim Cassidy 10 59kg 108
5 43x861D70x JUNOOB (GB) Chris Waller Tye Angland 11 59kg 108
6 2132x560x1 WEARY (FR) Chris Waller Tommy Berry 13 59kg 108
7 385x7334x1 NINTH LEGION Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Sam Clipperton 15 59kg 105
8 24x131x18x CONTRIBUTER (IRE) John O’Shea James McDonald 6 59kg 104
9 4x23111x11 RED EXCITEMENT Gerald Ryan TBA 14 59kg 103
10 40x53480x5 MALAVIO Steve Englebrecht Christian Reith 3 59kg 101
11 49x405143x DISCLAIMER (GB) Peter & Paul Snowden Joshua Parr 4 59kg 97
12 1114x4593x SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ) Roger James Kerrin McEvoy 8 57kg 116
13 013x16130x LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ) Kris Lees Hugh Bowman 9 57kg 111
14 58141x879x DIAMOND DRILLE Gai Waterhouse Tim Clark 1 57kg 106
15 123x35150x QUEENSTOWN Gai Waterhouse Paul King 12 57kg 101