Race favourite D’Argento has drawn the rails when the barrier draw was finalised for the 2018 Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
D’Argento is one of seven Chris Waller trained gallopers to gain a spot in the twenty horse Epsom Handicap field while stablemate Paret (barrier 11) has been made the second emergency.
Waller’s other Epsom Handicap runners are Shillelagh (barrier 5), Single Gaze (12), Unforgotten (3), Mister Sea Wolf (7), Religify (8) and Tom Melbourne (19).
High profile jockey James McDonald has the mount on D’Argento again after partnering the grey two starts back to a third placing behind super star stablemate Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18 and is replacing Hugh Bowman who was aboard last start for a second to Home Of The Brave in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 8.
Bowman will ride the James Cummings trained Hartnell who is the top weight for the Epsom Handicap and will jump from barrier ten.
McDonald is happy to have drawn the inside gate and said that D’Argento felt great when he rode him work this morning at Rosehill.
“The inside draw is okay. It is obviously better than drawing twenty-two,” McDonald said.
“I see that there are few favourites drawn around me and that will make it an interesting race.”
“From what I felt this morning, he is flying the horse. He is such a beautiful horse with no weight on his back. He is going to be awfully hard to beat.”
“He worked nice and sharp over five furlongs (1000m), he came home the last two (400m) really good.”
“I couldn’t be more pleased the way he is going and what I felt this morning he is hum dinging.”
Final field for the 2018 Epsom Handicap
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||90x1304x24||HARTNELL (GB)||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||10||57kg||113|
|2||x121122x12||PIERATA||Gregory Hickman||Corey Brown||4||54kg||109|
|3||1x13714x32||D’ARGENTO||Chris Waller||James McDonald||1||53.5kg||106|
|4||x076x462x4||SHILLELAGH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||5||53kg||109|
|5||x577421x04||DUCA VALENTINOIS (IRE)||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||16||53kg||105|
|6||20x22525x0||SINGLE GAZE||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||12||52.5kg||108|
|7||11x0121x61||UNFORGOTTEN||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||3||52.5kg||108|
|8||5×23095611||MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||7||52.5kg||104|
|9||205138×464||ARBEITSAM||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||15||52.5kg||103|
|10||1x22x04766||RELIGIFY||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||8||52.5kg||103|
|11||1x31117x48||LANCIATO (NZ)||Mark Newnham||Ms Rachel King||6||52kg||103|
|12||0x25828x26||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||Chris Waller||Dean Yendall||19||51.5kg||100|
|13||22x1330x32||CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES||Bjorn Baker||Craig Newitt||21||51kg||105|
|14||722x240x92||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||Damien Thornton||13||51kg||102|
|15||525x546x51||NEW TIPPERARY||Joseph Pride||Craig Williams||17||51kg(incl 1kg pen)||101|
|16||2x1295x271||SIEGE OF QUEBEC||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||James Innes Jnr||14||50kg||104|
|17||x3620x4025||INVICTUS PRINCE (GB)||Matthew Smith||Andrew Adkins||9||50kg||98|
|18||025x2347x8||RADIPOLE (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Dean Holland||22||50kg||97|
|19||336717×631||MURAAQEB||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Cory Parish||2||50kg||93|
|22e||x568x31117||PARET||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||11||50kg||84|