Ron Leemon’s gun Oratorio gelding Manawanui is the most notable omission from the 2011 Spring Champion Stakes nominations, early entries for the Epsom Handicap Day feature taken this week by Racing NSW.
Manawanui took his record to three wins from four starts last Saturday, the three-year-old the impressive four and a half length winner of the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m).
After the victory, connections hinted that the $400,000 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 1 could be a nice target for the improving galloper.
Manawanui, however, was not one of the Spring Champion Stakes 2011 nominations.
Still, they look on track for the opening Sydney Spring Carnival showdown with Manawanui now the $8 third favourite through Luxbet to take out the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens next month.
The top-line Spring Champion Stakes entry comes from the stables of Darley’s supremo trainer Peter Snowden, Helmet.
Exceed And Excel colt Helmet is already a dual Group 1 winner thanks to victories in the AJC Sires Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes as a two-year-old last season.
Sitting second behind Anthony Cumming’s excitement machine Smart Missile in the 2011 Golden Rose odds at Luxbet, Helmet is scheduled to make their new-season debut this Saturday at Rosehill in the $125,000 Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m).
Other Spring Champion Stakes-bound three-year-olds engaged for The Run To The Rose this Saturday include the John Thompson-trained Boys On Tour, Fusaichi Pegasus gelding Flight Of Pegasus and Elusive Quality colt Mashkoor.
Meanwhile, the 2011 Spring Champion Stakes attracted other headline nominees including the Peter Moody-trained maiden Godspeed, Just The Tonic for Gai Waterhouse who claimed an impressive win on debut last start on August 3 and Anthony Cumming’s progressive Savabeel gelding Strike The Stars.
Last start Strike The Stars came very close to breaking their maiden status when finishing a nose away second to fellow Spring Champion Stakes-nominated Darci Be Good in a 1400 metre handicap at Rosehill on August 13.
That performance indicated to Cummings that the Golden Rose would be too testing for the three-year-old and that he would be more suited to the longer-distance of the Spring Champion.
“I don’t think he’s brilliant enough over seven furlongs (1400m) for the Golden Rose, so he is off to the Gloaming and Spring Champion Stakes and we’re yet to see the best of him,” Cummings said.
As for the horse that beat Strike The Stars last start, Darci Be Good is also set to bypass the Golden Rose on way to the Spring Champion Stakes with trainer Bede Murray naming the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne on October 8 as another possible aim for the in-form Darci Brahma colt.
“He’s nominated for the Guineas and hopefully he can go to those better races like the Champion Stakes,” Murray said.
“He gives every indication a mile-plus will suit him.”
View the full list of 2011 Spring Champion Stakes nominations below and then make sure you sign up with Australia’s leading online bookmaker Luxbet to get the best spring carnival odds and betting options!
2011 Spring Champion Stakes Nominations
|4||BASHAN (NZ)||Richard Otto|
|5||BATEAU BAY||Gai Waterhouse|
|7||BIG TIME||John O’Shea|
|9||BLACK JAG||Peter Hulbert|
|10||BOYS ON TOUR||John P Thompson|
|11||CHAPLIN (NZ)||Anthony Freedman|
|12||COCKY RAIDER||David Payne|
|14||COSTLY COMMITMENT||Mick Price|
|15||DANZIG KING||Bob Thomsen|
|16||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Bede Murray|
|17||DOCTOR DOOM||Guy Walter|
|22||FLIGHT OF PEGASUS||Scott Aspery|
|27||GODSPEED||Peter G Moody|
|30||IRISH TIMES||Clarry Conners|
|31||ISOPACH||John P Thompson|
|32||JOLLYWOOD (NZ)||Robert Hickmott|
|33||JUST THE TONIC||Gai Waterhouse|
|35||KING’S PACT||David Payne|
|36||KUTCHER||John P Thompson|
|37||LAKE LYNETTE||Grahame Begg|
|38||LIEUTENANT COLONEL||John P Thompson|
|41||MORE BUBBLY||John P Thompson|
|45||NOBBY SNIP||Gai Waterhouse|
|46||NORDIC DUKE (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|47||OCELTIP||John P Thompson|
|48||OUT OF THE SHADOW||Gary Portelli|
|49||PANE IN THE GLASS||John P Thompson|
|50||POWER BROKER (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse|
|51||PUMP IT (NZ)||Anthony Freedman|
|52||QUACK IT (NZ)||David Hayes|
|53||REKINDLED ALLIANCE||Paul Messara|
|54||RETORT COURTEOUS (NZ)||Steve Englebrecht|
|56||ROCK MONSTER||Gerald Ryan|
|57||ROCK MUSICIAN||Robbie Laing|
|60||SAINT LA BAMBA||David Payne|
|61||SAINT PULSE||Michael Moroney|
|62||SALTER (NZ)||Robert Hickmott|
|64||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin|
|65||SCELTO (NZ)||Robbie Laing|
|67||STEEL FIXER||Chris Waller|
|68||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings|
|70||TAXI DRIVER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|71||THE DEEP SOUTH (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|72||THE GREAT SNOWMAN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse|
|73||THE INVENTOR||Bevan Laming|
|75||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson|
|77||VEETEN||John P Thompson|
|78||VITTORIA (NZ)||Michael Kent|
|79||VOLATILE MATTER||John P Thompson|
|80||WEHRMAN||John P Thompson|
|81||WHISPER DOWNS||David Hayes|
|82||WIN FOR WILSON||John P Thompson|