A host of talented fillies have been included in the 2015 Light Fingers Stakes field and the Group 2 event is set to be one of the most anticipated races at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Talented filly Mossfun has not been seen at the races since she stormed home from the tail of the field in the 2014 edition of the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), but she is set to return to the races in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) this weekend.
Mossfun missed the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival due to a virus, but she has performed well in two barrier trials at Warwick Farm on January 27 and Rosehill Gardens on February 3 and Team Hawkes are confident that she is ready for a return to the races.
The Mossman filly is set to face stiff competition from John Thompson-trained First Seal, who was clearly the star filly of the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
First Seal stamped herself as a filly to watch when she upset Winx and Earthquake to take out the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and she followed that up with a dominant win in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
The Fastnet Rock filly was beaten by Hampton Court in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), but Thompson is expecting big things from his star galloper in the autumn and believes that she is forward enough to win the Light Fingers Stakes this weekend.
“She is a lovely filly and it is her first run back on Saturday,” Thompson told Racing Ahead.
“She has had one barrier trial, which tidied her up very nicely and she is probably going in at about 90 percent.
“She is forward enough to run well, but she is not fully wound up.
“I guess if the other fillies are going to beat her it is probably over 1200 metres and I have a lot of respect for a horse like Mossfun, but she is coming back from a long lay-off and you don’t really know.
“She should get a good run from that barrier and she will be the one hitting the line strong.
“She has definitely filling out that frame and she is probably 20 or 30 kilos heavier.”
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Another Group 1 winner that has been included in the Light Finger Stakes field is Gerald Ryan-trained Peggy Jean.
The 2014 Sires Produce Stakes winner never came up during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and she was quickly sent back to the spelling paddock, but Ryan is thrilled with the condition of the three-year-old and is hopeful that she can return to her best this preparation.
“I am very pleased,” Ryan told Racing Ahead.
“She probably takes benefit out of Saturday’s race, but I was happy with her trial, her work two Saturday’s ago with Hot Snitzel was very good and she worked very well again yesterday morning.
“I elected to stay here just to keep her and Lucky Raquie a part and it doesn’t worry Peggy Jean whether it is dry or wet.
“I am really happy with the way that she has come up, whether she is as good as she was last autumn I don’t know, but she has come up a lot stronger and doing better than what she did in the spring.”
Rounding out the Group 1 winners in the 2015 Light Fingers Stakes field is Chris Waller-trained Amicus, who has flown under the radar ahead of her return to racing this weekend.
Amicus has recorded just two race wins from her seven starts, but added a valuable win at the highest level of racing to her resume when she scored an upset win in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.
Memorial, Winx, Press Report, Onemorezeta, Slightly Sweet, Adrift and Supara have also been included in the 2015 Light Fingers Stakes field.
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2015 Light Finger Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1x1121x||MOSSFUN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||7||56kg||105|
|2||213215x57x||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||8||56kg||94|
|3||4x12112x||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||1||56kg||103|
|4||316x3221x||AMICUS||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||5||56kg||101|
|5||1x2958x26x||MEMORIAL||John O’Shea||James McDonald||4||56kg||84|
|6||11x122x||WINX||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||3||56kg||96|
|7||47x416744x||PRESS REPORT||Lee Curtis||Ms Winona Costin (a)||9||56kg||75|
|8||9x111x||ONEMOREZETA||Kris Lees||Christian Reith||6||56kg||85|
|9||161x||SLIGHTLY SWEET||Jason Coyle||Ms Kathy O’Hara||10||56kg||71|
|10||611x||ADRIFT (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tye Angland||11||56kg||67|
|11||212x||SUPARA||Gai Waterhouse||Glyn Schofield||2||56kg||71|