2016 McNeil Stakes Field and Barrier Draw

August 24th, 2016

Fourteen three-year-old’s will line up for Saturday’s 2016 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield following this morning’s release of a final field and barrier draw; highlighted by the inclusion of several runners targeting the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney in a fortnight.

Highland Beat (pink silks) has been confirmed in the 2016 McNeil Stakes field. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Highland Beat (pink silks) has been confirmed in the 2016 McNeil Stakes field. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Defcon is one such runner, who has been confirmed in the 2016 McNeil Stakes field by trainers Peter & Paul Snowden, and who should prove extremely tough to beat from the ideal barrier 4.

Defcon immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow when second in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on January 30th, before again finishing in a close second in the Group 2 Silver Slipper (1100m) on February 20th.

Breaking through for his first race win in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) on March 12th, the Choisir colt was returned to the paddock after failing to fire in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on March 19th.

Having trailed well in the lead-up to his competitive return, Defcon has been charged with carrying a race-high 58.5kgs, but will be partnered by leading hoop Dwayne Dunn in the McNeil Stakes.

The Lindsay Park operation with launch a multi-pronged attack in the race after accepting for three of their stable’s stars, including Highland Beat.

Posting two wins and five minors through ten career starts so far, Highland Beat broke through for his first career win in only his second start at Moonee Valley in December, and while running second in the Hyland Race Colours Plate (1200m) on Boxing Day, received a freshen-up after failing to fire in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 2.y.o Guineas (1100m) on January 9th.

Resuming for second in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m), the Exceed And Excel colt ran tenth in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) before finishing second in the Robert Taranto Handicap (1100m).

Having returned to racing this time for second in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago, Highland Beat should prove tough to beat from barrier 3 and with only 56kgs in tow.

China Dream and Hardham both carry strong form into the McNeil Stakes and figure as good chances of success for trainer Mick Price.

Producing several smart efforts in his debut preparation, China Dream has returned this time for second in the B&B Aluminium Maiden (1100m) and third in the Racing, Dining, Events Maiden (1200m).

Arguably Price’s best chance of success in the McNeil Stakes, Hardham ran third in the Vain Stakes first-up a fortnight ago.

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2016 McNeil Stakes Field and Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 2210x DEFCON Peter & Paul Snowden Dwayne Dunn 4 58.5kg 80
2 1216x SEABURGE David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Mark Zahra 6 58.5kg 80
3 12020212×2 HIGHLAND BEAT David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Damian Lane 3 56kg 72
4 35x45512x PYX CHAMBER John O’Shea Michael Dee (a) 13 56kg 67
5 2x11x BLUE TYCOON David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Michael Walker 1 56kg 70
6 413×6 REVOLVING DOOR Clinton McDonald Nicholas Hall 10 56kg 70
7 1225 WAZZENME Stuart Webb Luke Nolen 9 56kg 67
8 330×23 CHINA DREAM Mick Price Craig Newitt 7 56kg 66
9 1×3 HARDHAM Mick Price Damien Oliver 8 56kg 66
10 1 AWAKE IN GRINZING (NZ) Danny O’Brien Ben Melham 5 56kg 66
11 26 SO SI BON Robbie Laing 14 56kg 63
12 67×342 SIMPLY INVINCIBLE Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison 2 56kg 59
13 5 I’M TOO HOT Mark Riley 12 56kg 59
14 26x07x KINETIC DESIGN Stuart Webb Luke Currie 11 54kg 66