This Saturday March 5 the opening Group 1 showdown of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival will light up the track at Warwick Farm and the 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes nominations have been released.
The $350,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) is the highlight event on the eight-race programme at Warwick Farm on Saturday and 15 weight-for-age runners have been nominated for the feature.Sydney’s Lady of Racing Gai Waterhouse has entered four of her stable stars for the 2011 Chipping Norton including defending champion Theseo.
Twelve months ago Danewin gelding Theseo claimed a narrow victory in the Chipping Norton Stakes and will return on Saturday seeking back-to-back wins.
Theseo will be first-up for the season in the Chipping Norton with Waterhouse naming the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 19 as his next major assignment, the seven-year-old attempting an unprecedented third straight Ranvet Stakes victory.
Waterhouse has also nominated Caulfield Cup winner Descarado, six-year-old gelding Lorne Dancer and classy mare Once Were Wild for this year’s Chipping Norton.
Leading Rosehill-based trainer Chris Waller has two entries with Group 1 winning seven-year-old Danleigh and Danasinga five-year-old Metal Bender.
Randwick trainer David Payne also has multiple nominees with consistent five-year-old Centennial Park and Illustrious Blue both heading towards the Group 1 feature.
Centennial Park is sure to start one of the favourites in the Chipping Norton Stakes betting when Luxbet release their markets after the Thorn Park gelding resumed with a smart win in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 5 before finishing a game third behind Melito in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 19 last-start.
Other notable 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes nominees include:
- Luen Yat Forever (Peter Moody) – Former Macau gelding, proven stayer with Group 1 experience in Australia, second-up for the season after running eighty in the Group 1 CF Orr (1400m) on February 12
- Melito (Gerald Ryan) – Top Redoute’s Choice mare likely to start one of the favourites after beating a top field including Hot Danish first-up in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) last start, multiple Group 1 winner heading towards a shot at Black Caviar in the Newmarket but needs to prove themselves over the mile here first
- Maluckyday (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes) – Last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up seeking their first Group 1 success, the Zabeel four-year-old resuming for the season has imposing first-up record and 1600m should suit
- Skilled (Peter Snowden) – Commands colt in great form, Warwick Farm is their home track and they are coming off two third place finishes at Group level this preparation, Group 1 winner over the distance having won the Champagne Stakes (1600m) last April
The star-studded Chipping Norton Stakes 2011 final field and barrier draw will be out tomorrow and Races.com.au will be the first to publish the list of acceptors so bookmark this site.
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2011 Chipping Norton Stakes Nominations
|1||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||108|
|3||DESCARADO (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||115|
|4||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||David Payne||108|
|5||LORNE DANCER||Gai Waterhouse||105|
|6||LUEN YAT FOREVER||Peter G Moody||105|
|7||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||106|
|9||METAL BENDER (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|
|10||ONCE WERE WILD||Gai Waterhouse||108|
|11||SACRED CHOICE||Joseph Pride||110|
|14||VISION AND POWER (NZ)||Joseph Pride||106|
|15||ZAVITE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||108|
Photo courtesy (c) Steve Hart Photographics