Grand Finale For NZB Spring WFA ChampionshipWednesday, Oct 11, 2017
The 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Caulfield Spring Weight-For-Age Championship is set for an exciting conclusion with the running of the fourth and final leg, the A$1m Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
Hartnell (Authorized) won the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and finished second in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (2000m), earning 18 points and a position at the top of the table.
With 10 points available to the winner of Saturday’s race, the only horse in the field within striking range of Hartnell is the star Kiwi mare Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi) on 10. Bought at the 2015 Premier Sale at Karaka for $150,000, she has won six Group races in a row including the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks, Australian Oaks and Underwood Stakes.
Adding significant interest to Saturday’s race is the influx of the European raiders. Aidan O’Brien will be represented by Johannes Vermeer (Galileo) and The Taj Mahal (Galileo), while Willie Mullins will line up Riven Light (Raven’s Pass).
The Ladbrokes Stakes will be run as Race 7 with a start time of 3.50pm (5.50pm NZT).
|1||Hartnell||7||The current Spring WFA Championship leader with 18 points, Godolphin star Hartnell (Authorized) has had three starts this spring for a win in the PB Lawrence Stakes, a second in the Makybe Diva Stakes and a second in the Underwood Stakes. Hartnell is a multiple Group 1 winner and has earned more than A$4 million in prize-money.||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield|
|2||Gailo Chop||5||Winner of the 2015 Mackinnon Stakes over this distance, Gailo Chop (Deportivo) resumed last month after more than a year on the sidelines. He has shown good signs, winning at Listed level in Adelaide and finishing fourth in the Makybe Diva Stakes and third in the Underwood.||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra|
|3||Johannes Vermeer||6||Johannes Vermeeer (Galileo) has won at Group 1 level in France and makes his Australian debut in this event. He descends from the same family as English Derby winner and champion sire Shirley Heights, as well as the outstanding Rich Hill Stud stallion Pentire.||Aidan O'Brien||Katelyn Mallyon|
|4||Riven Light||4||Another runner on Australian debut, the Willie Mullins-trained Riven Light (Raven's Pass) has won six races including a last-start stakes win in Ireland.||Willie Mullins||Glen Boss|
|5||Calderon||8||A Group Three winner over 1800 metres in England, Calderon (Lope de Vega) is now trained by Tony McEvoy and is making his first Australian start.||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie|
|6||Jon Snow||9||Owned and trained in New Zealand and a graduate of the Select Sale at Karaka, Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj) won the Australian Derby last season and returned to winning form with a strong last-start performance in the Group 3 JRA Cup.||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Stephen Baster|
|7||Inference||3||Winner of the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in the autumn, Inference (So You Think) has been unplaced in three starts this spring.||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn|
|8||Single Gaze||1||Single Gaze (Not A Single Doubt) was a Group 1 winner as a three-year-old and performed well in strong races during the Queensland winter carnival. She has run solid races in her last couple of starts for fifth in the Makybe Diva Stakes and fourth in the Underwood.||Nick Olive||Kathy O'Hara|
|9||Abbey Marie||Runner-up in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, Abbey Marie (Redoute's Choice) was a last-start fifth at Group Three level over this course and distance.||Michael Kent||Beau Mertens|
|10||The Taj Mahal||2||Making his Australian debut, The Taj Mahal (Galileo) is a full-brother to Group 1 winners Gleneagles, Happily and Marvellous. While he has only won one race, The Taj Mahal has been placed at the highest level in the Secretariat Stakes in the United States.||Aidan O'Brien||Damien Oliver|
|11||Bonneval||11||Reigning New Zealand Horse of the Year Bonneval (NZ), a graduate of the Premier Sale at Karaka, has won Group races in all of her last six starts including three at Group 1 level. She produced a dominant come-from-behind performance to win the Underwood Stakes two weeks ago.||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane|