Champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller has accepted with three of his eight nominations for the Group 2 $358,000 All-New Jaguar F-Pace A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Strawberry Boy has drawn the worst of Waller’s three at barrier eleven in the fourteen horse field while his two European imports Kool Kompany and Spiritjim have drawn better at seven and three respectively.
French import Spiritjim will be having his first run on Australian soil and Waller is happy with the way the Galileo six year old is shaping up.
“He is a lovely horse and I was pleased with his barrier trial when he ran second,” Waller told AAP.
“He has adapted well to our stable and seems to like the conditions in Australia.”
Spiritjim is a Group 2 winner in France of the Grand Prix De Chantilly (2400m) at Chantilly in June 2014 and has raced twice in the Group 1 €5,000,000 QATAR Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe (2400m) at Longchamp for a sixteen in 2014 and a twelfth in 2015.
Kool Kompany began his racing career in England and recorded six wins, including two at Group 2 level and one at Group 3, but has yet to visit the winner’s stall from four runs for Waller.
While Strawberry Boy will be stepping up in class after running fourth to stablemate Amovatio in the Group 3 $200,000 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) at Hawkesbury last Saturday.
Gai Waterhouse has accepted with Excess Knowledge who was out of luck at the barrier draw, coming up with the outside gate with Tegan Harrison to ride.
Waterhouse gave Excess Knowledge a light Sydney Autumn Carnival with only one run for a second to It’s Somewhat in the Group 2 $175,000 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 12.
Excess Knowledge will be facing up against It’s Somewhat again who is one of three John O’Shea runners in the A.D. Hollindale Stakes field.
It’s Somewhat has drawn barrier eight and is coming off a last start sixth to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 9.
O’Shea’s other two runners have drawn in close with Old North (Tim Clark) coming up with the pole position and Haruaki (James McDonald) drawing next to him at barrier two.
Hauraki was beaten last start when seventh in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes while Old North finished second to He’s Our Rokkii in the Group 3 $150,000 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 16.
Three times Group 1 winner Volkstok’N’Barrell has drawn out wide at twelve with Blake Shinn taking over from Corey Brown who ride Kiwi galloper when tenth to Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick day one of ‘The Championships’ on April 2.
The Steven O’Dea trained Sir Moments has the job of flying the flag for the locals and has drawn worse than midfield at barrier nine with regular rider Paul Hammersley in the saddle again.
Sir Moments finished a close second to Leebazz in last year’s A.D. Hollindale Stakes and will be looking to reverse the result on Saturday.
The Team Hawkes trained Leebaz has drawn barrier six with Michael Cahill to ride and the six year old found his winning form again two starts back with an all the way win in the Group 3 $150,000 Le Pine Funerals Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on March 26.
A.D. Hollindale Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Hauraki, $5 Old North, $8.50 Sir Moments, $9 Excess Knowledge, Spiritjim, $10 Sakhee’s Soldier, $12 It’s Somewhat, $17 Volkstok’N’Barrell, $21 Kool Kompany, Sir John Hawkwood, $26 Strawberry Boy, $34 Puccini, $41 Honey Toast, Leebaz.