An impressive collection of major spring contenders are set to contest the $200,000 Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington this Saturday including a number of Group One winners.
Flemington’s opening spring meeting will feature a plethora of stars across the seven stakes races scheduled including Peter Snowden’s ace colt Sepoy racing in the $250,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) and early 2011 Melbourne Cup betting favourite Lights Of Heaven lining up in the $300,000 Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
There will also be plenty of betting action at Luxbet on the Bobbie Lewis Quality 2011, which attracted 25 nominations.
Topping the early entries are the likes of last-start Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) winner Temple Of Boom, last year’s Golden Rose winner Toorak Toff, Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara champion Yosei, Charge Forward mare Response and Bel Sprinter.
Jason Warren’s Bel Esprit four-year-old Bel Sprinter is out to retain their undefeated status after taking their record to four wins from four starts with an impressive three length victory in a Listed sprint at Caulfield on August 13.
Earlier this month Warren rejected a seven-figure offer to sell Bel Sprinter to Hong Kong interests.
Although there is little doubt Bel Sprinter is a star in the making, Warren is as yet to confirm where they will head and what races they will target this prep.
“We think he’s pretty smart and hopefully he can go on to win a nice race,” Warren said last week.
Another big-name contender set to race in the Bobbie Lewis on Saturday is the Mick Price-trained Aloha.
The daughter of Encosta De Lago from Danehill mare Tennessee Midnight took out the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill during the autumn and was last seen finishing sixth to Sacred Choice in the Doncaster Mile.
Aloha has a good record at Flemington, her last start at the track home to the iconic Melbourne Cup being a four length win over 1730 metres last December.
A winning barrier trial at Cranbourne on August 22 showed the five-year-old was ready to return to race conditions, Aloha already at the top of the early markets to win the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 1.
Despite being well liked in the Epsom odds, Aloha is unlikely to target the Sydney Spring Carnival showdown with Price naming the $350,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 24 and the $350,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) on October 8 as more favourable goals for the talented mare.
Below are the full Bobbie Lewis Quality nominations, with the final field for all of Flemington’s Saturday races to be released tomorrow and published here at Races.com.au.
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2011 Bobbie Lewis Quality Nominations
|3||AMERICAN CREW||Leon Corstens||82|
|4||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||101|
|5||CELLARMASTER (NZ)||Patrick Payne||82|
|7||CURTANA||Peter G Moody||100|
|9||DOUBTFUL JACK||Peter G Moody||104|
|11||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||109|
|12||ELUSIVE TOUCH||Mark Kavanagh||102|
|13||GOLD SALUTE||Mark Riley||96|
|14||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||86|
|15||KING HOAKS||Allison Bennett||92|
|16||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||105|
|17||LORD PYRUS (NZ)||Judy Mawer||101|
|18||MID SUMMER MUSIC||Peter G Moody||100|
|20||PANIPIQUE||Peter G Moody||93|
|21||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||103|
|22||RESPONSE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||110|
|23||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||104|
|24||TOORAK TOFF||Rick Hore-Lacy||106|