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Ancestry will head to Mornington on Saturday rather than The Valley on Friday night

The barrier draw has been crucial in the decision of Phillip Stokes to bypass a Group 1 race at The Valley in favour of a Listed race at Mornington.

An easier option from a better draw will see Ancestry miss a Group 1 contest at The Valley for a Listed race at Mornington the following day.

Ancestry came up with barrier 10 in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at The Valley on Friday night but has drawn the fence in the Hareeba Stakes at Mornington on Saturday.

Market 💰: View the Odds for the Hareeba Stakes

Both races are over 1200m, the distance Ancestry was successful over at The Valley last Saturday when a 2-¼ length winner in the Listed Abell Stakes.

It was following that race the William Reid became an option, but on Thursday trainer Phillip Stokes told RSN the Mornington race was the easier option.

“I think we will go to the Hareeba, it’s an easier race,” Stokes said.

“We have a good barrier whereas it looks to be a high-pressure race, the Group 1, and he probably doesn’t get in very well at weight-for-age.”

Ancestry is the top-rated runner in Saturday’s contest and will carry 58.5kg under Luke Nolen.

The gelding had 57kg when successful last week.

Nolen takes over from Michael Poy, he rides Nettoyer in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday, who has ridden Ancestry in his last six starts, for five wins.

The only “miss” was when 15th to Celebrity Queen and Portland Sky when resuming in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield last month.

That was Ancestry’s only try at Group 1 level, but Stokes believes the sprinter will measure up at that level but needs a good draw to do so.

“His times and everything are great,” Stokes said.

“If he’d drawn an inside barrier, we might have given him his chance on Friday, but there’s some really speedy horses there.”

Written by Craig Brennan

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