The 2015 P.B. Lawrence Stakes field has been released and nine talented gallopers are set to contest the Group 2 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Lindsay Park team of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig are the only stable with multiple runners in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes field and former Hong Kong galloper Dibayani as well as talented entire Petrology will both take their place in the $200,000 event.
Dibayani will make his Australian racing debut in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes and has been well respected by bookmakers due to the impressive performances that he produced in Hong Kong as a four-year-old.
The Shamardal gelding was sent to Australia after he had a bleeding attack in the Group 2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) on October 26, but before that he was placed in the Group 1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (1600m), the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) and the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m).
Petrology stamped himself as a horse to watch when he took out the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival before he failed to fire in the autumn, but he returned to a semblance of his best form with a third place finish in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 25.
Smokin’ Joey produced an outstanding performance to take out the Bletchingly Stakes and he now has the chance to record a third straight win for the second time in his racing career.
This is the toughest test that Smokin’ Joey has faced in his past three starts, but he won like a very professional race horse in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on June 13 and he is racing in career best form.
The P.B. Lawrence Stakes is often used by trainers to start the Spring Racing Carnival campaigns of their gallopers and the likes of The Cleaner, Mourinho, Big Memory, Taiyoo and Excess Knowledge will return to the races in the Group 3 event.
Excess Knowledge has not been seen at the races since he took out the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28, but he has trialed in impressive fashion at Royal Randwick on July 20 and July 31 and has a good first-up record.
The Cleaner will take up the running in the early stages of the P.B. Lawrence Stakes and he was far from disgraced in the Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) and Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) during his 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing campaign, while Mourinho took out the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) first-up in the autumn.
Big Memory and Taiyoo are both on Melbourne Cup campaigns and will likely find this too short.
The 2015 P.B. Lawrence Stakes field is rounded out by New Zealand-based mare No Tricks, who has not been seen at the races since she took out the Listed Daybreak Lover (1800m) at the Gold Coast on June 20.