Trainer Darren Weir’s two time Group 1 winner Palentino heads up the field for the 2016 Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Palentino has drawn barrier nine in the thirteen horse field and will be ridden by Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra who was aboard the four year old for his last start win in the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10.
The Teofilo stallion’s other Group 1 win was as a three year old in the $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
James McDonald takes the ride on Hauraki who is trainer John O’Shea’s only runner in the Epsom and who has also drawn wide at barrier ten.
McDonald and Hauraki combined for a win two starts back in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 3 before the pair ran second to Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 17.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller has four runners in the Epsom field, last start winners Mackintosh and McCreery, Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh and promising four year old Torgersen.
Tommy Berry takes the ride on Mackintosh (barrier 2), Kerrin McEvoy rides McCreery (barrier 4), Craig Newitt is on Vanbrugh (barrier 7) and Kathy O’Hara takes the mount on Torgersen (barrier 5).
High profile jockey Hugh Bowman is a regular rider for the Waller stable but has elected to ride the Kris Lees trained Le Romain (barrier 3) in the Epsom.
Bowman will be replacing Christian Reith who rode Le Romain last start when second to Chetwood in the Group 3 $150,000 Australian Bloodstock Cameron Handicap (1350m) on the Beaumont track at Newcastle on September 16.
Sons Of John has found winning form for Hawkesbury trainer John Attard and heads to the Epsom following his win in the Group 3 $125,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on September 17.
The six year old has drawn the outside of the field at barrier thirteen and has Singapore based Glen Boss in the saddle.
Hauraki holds a slight advantage at the top of the market for the Epsom at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of Palentino at $6, McCreery at $6.50 and Happy Clapper at $7.50.
Market order for The Epsom at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Hauraki, $6 Palentino, $6.50 McCreery, $7.50 Happy Clapper, $9 Fabrizio, $11 Mackintosh, $12 Le Romain, $13 Sons Of John, $15 Heavens Above, $18 Vanbrugh, $26 Torgersen, $31 Dibayani, $41 Mighty Lucky.