What a week it has been so far. A Group 3 placing on Saturday from Athabascan; a Listed winner on Cup day in Warmonger; an excellent run from Daqiansweet Junior in the Cup itself (finishing 5th) as well as a brave second from Cepheus in the Big Dance. And we still have Oaks Day and Stakes Day ahead of us.
Our Stakes Day at Flemington will be restricted to one race, but with two chances in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Hezashocka and our Geelong Cup winner Amade have both accepted to run.
Last start winner Amade has come through his Geelong Cup success in good order and trained on well since.
“We gave him a couple days at the farm after his win to get a short break and have a pick of grass and he came back into the stables a few days after. Zac Spain galloped him on Monday and the horse is in a good headspace. We couldn’t be happier with him.”, says trainer Phillip Stokes to owners.
The 10-year-old heads into the race fourth up and with plenty of fitness under his belt. Hopefully he can run a competitive race on Saturday. Amade will jump from barrier 10, carrying 56kg.
Also in the field is the Price Kent trained gelding Hezashocka, who has had nothing but an unlucky preparation so far. A G1 placegetter on the same day last year (2000m Champion Stakes) behind Zaaki, he has the quality to contend if he finds his best form.
“He pulled up super from his run in the Bendigo Cup, he looks well, he’s sound and has a free action. He sat pretty quiet for the 2400m of the race so it didn’t take too much out of him, but we’re still going to keep him pretty fresh and won’t do much until his next start. He’s bright and holds good condition, we’re happy with him.”
Hezashocka will be ridden by Blake Shinn, carrying 55.5kg and jumps from barrier 7 in a field of 14. Trainer Michael Kent Jnr indicates that they will try and make use of the barrier and ride him a bit more forward and hopefully finish of strongly.
See the full field and all race details for both horses here.
Best of luck to all connections involved!