A final field of seven runners have been confirmed for a tilt at the 2014 Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) in Brisbane this weekend, highlighted by several notable performers throughout the Autumn Racing Carnival.
Arguably the biggest winner at Wednesday’s barrier draw in claiming the ideal inside gate, trainer Chris Waller is confident well-trialled gelding Moriarty is the one to beat in this weekend’s Eagle Farm Cup with confirmation leading jockey Nash Rawiller will take the ride.
Contesting an impressive total of 10 wins and 11 places from 42 competitive starts to date, Moriarty is a noted performer over events during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, having won both the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m) and the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) and finished fourth in the 2013 edition of the Eagle Farm Cup last year.
Steadily building to the task this time in, the Clodovil gelding overcame a disappointing run for eighth in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up with a strong run for third amongst classy competition in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 22nd.
Continuing to build in form and class, Moriarty was unlucky to run in for fourth when blocked for a run in the final straight of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) before finishing sixth in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) just two weeks later.
Nash Rawiller is set to be joined by brother Brad in the 2014 Eagle Farm Cup, who has been confirmed to retain the ride on in-form stayer Akzar in Brisbane this weekend.
The winner of eight races and claiming minor places in a further 12 for a total of 36 appearances on track, Akzar has undoubtedly hit career best form since transferring to the care of trainer Darren Weir at the conclusion of 2013.
Claiming victories in his first three starts under the Wangoom-based trainer, Akzar has noticeably built in form and class over his four-most recent race starts; finishing second in both the Community Race Day Handicap (2000m) and Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) before arguably registering his most impressive performance when claiming the featured Warrnambool Cup (2350m) by more than six lengths on May 1st.
Producing a strong turn of foot to finish fourth in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) last time out, the Selkirk gelding is offered a great chance of returning to the winner’s circle this weekend, having been allocated the ideal barrier 3 for the 2014 Eagle Farm Cup.
While yet to break through for a race win this time in, John O’Shea-trained Wistful has received an ideal lead-up to this weekend’s Group 2 and is a great chance of success with in-form jockey Kerrin McEvoy on board.
Registering three rather forgettable appearances first up in 2014, the Tiger Hill mare has returned to impressive form in finishing second in all over the Dunkirk 3.y.o (1600m), Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1615m) most recently.
Both strong and consistent performers over their current preparations respectively, Mr O’Ceirin and Floria offer a great chance of returning to the winner’s circle this weekend, having each contested several events at the highest level of Australian racing in 2014.
Claiming a total of 10 wins and five places from 31 competitive starts to date, Mr O’Ceirin was unable to handle the late pace in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) first-up, but returned to great condition when finishing second to champion mare Streama in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast on May 3rd.
Contesting the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) last time out, trainer Ciaron Maher is confident the Postponed gelding will make the most of barrier 4 this weekend.
A competitive performer throughout the winter of 2013, Floria finished second in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) on June 8th before running on for third in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
Charged with overcoming the outside barrier, trainer Peter Moody is confident Luke Nolen will once again get the best from his entrant this weekend.
Wayne Hills-trained Perfect Start (barrier 5) and Lauren Tate (barrier 6) complete the final field for the 2014 Eagle Farm Cup.
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2014 Eagle Farm Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||03×8346555||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||1||59kg||108|
|2||6001112214||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||3||59kg||103|
|3||612100×027||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Glen Boss||4||59kg||104|
|4||x361x28726||FLORIA (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7||57kg||99|
|5||713×009222||WISTFUL||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||2||57kg||97|
|6||4033105375||PERFECT START (NZ)||Wayne Hillis||Mark Du Plessis||5||57kg||84|
|7||334×145147||LAUREN TATE (NZ)||John Morell||Damian Browne||6||57kg||95|