The Melbourne spring racing action moves into its final phase at Sandown this Saturday with a bumper day of black-type racing scheduled, one of the features at the meeting being the 2011 Eclipse Stakes.
One of four Group races on the Sandown race card, the $125,000 Group 3 Betfair Eclipse Stakes (1800m) has this year drawn 15 gallopers at nomination stage.
The equal top-rated and weighted of the Eclipse Stakes entries are the Graeme Boyd-trained Ginga Dude and David Vandyke’s Sydney stayer Lamasery both on 58kg.
Eight-year-old Kiwi raider Ginga Dude was last seen running sixth to Glass Harmonium in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day while Commands five-year-old Lamasery enjoyed a consolation win on Melbourne Cup Day taking out the Listed Johnnie Walker Stakes (1800m).
Both Ginga Dude and Lamasery are also nominated for the headline race at Sandown this Saturday, the $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) where they would face off against last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Americain.
Meanwhile Michael Moroney will vie for back-to-back wins in the Eclipse Stakes following the success of Viking Hero 12 months ago, the Flemington-based horseman having nominated his Redoute’s Choice mare Platinum Passion who is one of the 53kg lightweights.
Other notable 2011 Eclipse Stakes nominations include the David Hayes-trained Extra Zero who ran second to Lamasery on Melbourne Cup Day, Robert Hickmott’s in-form Reset four-year-old Fawkner coming off a Crown Oaks Day win over 1800 metres and relative unknown Gold Sand who comes off back-to-back wins at Morphettville.
Acceptances for the Eclipse Stakes and all the other Sandown races on Saturday will be taken on Wednesday with the fields and betting previews to be published right here at Races.com.au.
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2011 Betfair Eclipse Stakes Nominations & Weights
|1||GINGA DUDE (NZ)||Graeme Boyd||1||58kg||107|
|3||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes||3||56kg||101|
|4||ROTHERA||Peter G Moody||5||56kg||101|
|5||LORD PYRUS (NZ)||Judy Mawer||6||54.5kg||98|
|6||MAJESTIC MUSIC||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||4||54kg||101|
|10||FOLDING GEAR (NZ)||Lee & Shannon Hope||10=||53kg||88|
|11||GOLD SAND||Lee & Shannon Hope||9||53kg||89|
|13||PLATINUM PASSION||Michael Moroney||7||53kg||97|