Race favourite D’Argento has drawn the rails when the barrier draw was finalised for the 2018 Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

D'Argento, above, has drawn the rails in the 2018 Epsom Handicap at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

D’Argento, above, has drawn the rails in the 2018 Epsom Handicap at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

D’Argento is one of seven Chris Waller trained gallopers to gain a spot in the twenty horse Epsom Handicap field while stablemate Paret (barrier 11) has been made the second emergency.

Waller’s other Epsom Handicap runners are Shillelagh (barrier 5), Single Gaze (12), Unforgotten (3), Mister Sea Wolf (7), Religify (8) and Tom Melbourne (19).

High profile jockey James McDonald has the mount on D’Argento again after partnering the grey two starts back to a third placing behind super star stablemate Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18 and is replacing Hugh Bowman who was aboard last start for a second to Home Of The Brave in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 8.

Bowman will ride the James Cummings trained Hartnell who is the top weight for the Epsom Handicap and will jump from barrier ten.

McDonald is happy to have drawn the inside gate and said that D’Argento felt great when he rode him work this morning at Rosehill.

“The inside draw is okay. It is obviously better than drawing twenty-two,” McDonald said.

“I see that there are few favourites drawn around me and that will make it an interesting race.”

“From what I felt this morning, he is flying the horse. He is such a beautiful horse with no weight on his back.  He is going to be awfully hard to beat.”

“He worked nice and sharp over five furlongs (1000m), he came home the last two (400m) really good.”

“I couldn’t be more pleased the way he is going and what I felt this morning he is hum dinging.”

Final field for the 2018 Epsom Handicap

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 90x1304x24 HARTNELL (GB) James Cummings Hugh Bowman 10 57kg 113
2 x121122x12 PIERATA Gregory Hickman Corey Brown 4 54kg 109
3 1x13714x32 D’ARGENTO Chris Waller James McDonald 1 53.5kg 106
4 x076x462x4 SHILLELAGH (NZ) Chris Waller Michael Walker 5 53kg 109
5 x577421x04 DUCA VALENTINOIS (IRE) James Cummings Glyn Schofield 16 53kg 105
6 20x22525x0 SINGLE GAZE Chris Waller Ms Kathy O’Hara 12 52.5kg 108
7 11x0121x61 UNFORGOTTEN Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 3 52.5kg 108
8 5×23095611 MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE) Chris Waller Jason Collett 7 52.5kg 104
9 205138×464 ARBEITSAM Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 15 52.5kg 103
10 1x22x04766 RELIGIFY Chris Waller Jay Ford 8 52.5kg 103
11 1x31117x48 LANCIATO (NZ) Mark Newnham Ms Rachel King 6 52kg 103
12 0x25828x26 TOM MELBOURNE (IRE) Chris Waller Dean Yendall 19 51.5kg 100
13 22x1330x32 CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES Bjorn Baker Craig Newitt 21 51kg 105
14 722x240x92 RED EXCITEMENT Gerald Ryan Damien Thornton 13 51kg 102
15 525x546x51 NEW TIPPERARY Joseph Pride Craig Williams 17 51kg(incl 1kg pen) 101
16 2x1295x271 SIEGE OF QUEBEC Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott James Innes Jnr 14 50kg 104
17 x3620x4025 INVICTUS PRINCE (GB) Matthew Smith Andrew Adkins 9 50kg 98
18 025x2347x8 RADIPOLE (IRE) Michael Moroney Dean Holland 22 50kg 97
19 336717×631 MURAAQEB David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Cory Parish 2 50kg 93
20 326×003132 GOODFELLA Bjorn Baker 20 50kg 90
21e 7433923×39 NETTOYER Wendy Roche 18 50kg 88
22e x568x31117 PARET Chris Waller Michael Dee 11 50kg 84

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.