Stable representative for trainer Gai Waterhouse, Mark Newnham has revealed the team is thrilled with the continually building form of Liberty’s Choice this time and are confident the conditions of Saturday’s 2015 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick make the race an ideal point of call.
Liberty’s Choice has been a strong and consistent performer for the Waterhouse stable since first appearing on course during the 2013 Autumn Carnival; surprisingly posting only one win but finishing in the first three a further eleven times through 20 competitive starts.
Newnham was thrilled when only six horses were included in 2015 Missile Stakes nominations on Monday morning, and his confident his team’s runner’s first-up performance for fourth in the Listed Winter Stakes (1200m) on July 18th points towards another competitive performance on Saturday.
“A lot of horses are a little bit behind in their preparations with the amount of wet weather we’ve had,” Newnham told AAP.
“Gai has put him in the race thinking it wouldn’t attract a big field and that looks like being the case.
“(His last run) was after a period where we had a lot of wet weather for three or four weeks and it was very hard to win with horses were first-up.
“The horse is fit and well.”
Capping a strong maiden year a credible fifth in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), Liberty’s Choice returned to racing in 2014 for a close third in the Listed Canberra Guineas (1400m) but failed to make anything of an impact when ninth in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) a fortnight later.
Returning to strong form when second to Sir Moments in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) in May, the Redoute’s Choice gelding was sent to the paddock after finishing third in the Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes (1600m) one week later.
Clearly needing the run when failing to beat a single runner home in his spring resumption, Liberty’s Choice ran a close second to Rock Sturdy in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) before boxing on for a credible seventh in the major Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 4th.
The 2015 Missile Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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