Team Hawkes has strength in numbers with Messene, Ninth Legion and God’s In Him all accepting for the Group 2 $175,000 Leonay Plumbing Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Ninth Legion put in a solid effort when resuming for the Spring Carnival with a third to Winx in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12 and is certain to get the run of the race again from barrier two.
Messene has been struggling to find his best form at three runs this campaign and could only manage to run eighth, beaten three and three quarter lengths, behind Winx in the Theo Marks.
At his two previous start Messene ran a first up fifth in the Group 2 $175,000 McGrath Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 8 followed by a third to Royal Descent in the Group 2 $250,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22.
The Lonhro seven year old has come up with gate three in the eleven horse Shannon Stakes field.
God’s In Him has been working his way up through the classes with wins from his last three starts and is stepping up to Group 2 level for the first time after winning a 1400m BenchMark 80 Handicap on September 12.
The God’s Own six year old raced on the pace last start and should be in the first half of the field from barrier five.
As is the case over recent months, Chris Waller has had multiple runners in the most of the feature races and the Shannon Stakes is no exception with the leading trainer set to saddle up four runner’s, Moriarty, Foreteller, I’m Imposing and Flamingo Star.
Group 1 winners Moriarty (barrier 1) and Foreteller (10) have failed to fire at two runs from a spell and I’m Imposing (7) never threatened with a first up ninth to Complacent in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 5.
Waller has put the blinkers on German import Flamington Star (4) who was always near the tail of the field when ninth in the Group 3 $150,000 Strathayr Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle on September 18.
Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher has sent Akavoroun north to Sydney to run in the Shannon Stakes and the six year old has drawn barrier nine with Glyn Schofield booked to ride.
Akavoroun has had one run back from a spell for a second to Disposition in the Listed $120,000 The Sofitel (1400m) at Flemington on September 12.
Wouldnt It Be Nice ran his best race for a long time when third to Forget in the Cameron Handicap and trainer Paul Berry is stepping the five year old back up to Group 2 company.
Thomas Huet will ride Wouldnt It Be Nice again and will jump from the outside barrier.