Five New South Wales-trained mares feature in the Travel Associates Classic 2011 nominations, the Listed Eagle Farm feature to run this Saturday, but it is unlikely all five will be accepted and make the trip to the Sunshine State.
A total of 19 horses were nominated for the $80,000 Listed Travel Associates Classic (1200m), the leading interstate invader being Chris Waller’s Dystopia who ran a game fourth to subsequent Winterbottom Stakes winner Ortensia in a black-type sprint at Flemington on November 3.
The four other Sydney entries are then the Gerald Ryan-trained General Nediym four-year-old Mrs Onassis coming off wins at Hawkesbury and Canterbury this month, Kris Lees’ last-start Randwick winner Cheap Thrills, Grant Allard’s Gosford-based Not A Single Doubt mare My Cookie Monster and top provincial trainer Sue Grills’ Tamworth galloper Redhandedjill.
Of the five horses from over the border featuring in the Travel Associates Classic entries for 2011, four have also been nominated for features on Rosehill’s Festival Stakes Day program on Saturday including Dystopia
Purchased for a hefty $800,000 at the 2008 Australian Easter Yearling Sales, now five-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare Dystopia has won three of their 16 starts to date earning just over $195,000 in prize money.
Her last-start fourth in the Listed G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) on Crown Oaks Day was just her third black-type assignment, and Waller is sweating on what weight she is allocated for the Benchmark 85 Handicap at Rosehill before confirming where she will run on Saturday.
“We probably won’t have a clear indication until after we have a look at the (Sydney) weights,” Liam Prior, racing manager for Waller, said.
Meanwhile, the Kelso Wood-trained Zero Rock leads the local contingent in the Travel Associates Classic this year.
The classy Danzero six-year-old is set to resume racing after a five month spell, Zero Rock last seen running a brave sixth to Yosei in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 25 during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Prior to the Tattersall’s, Zero Rock came within two lengths when third to Sincero in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), Queensland’s richest race.
She defends her Travel Associates Classic title on Saturday having taken out the feature in fine style 12 months ago before backing up to win the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben the next month, and has Wood’s full confidence.
“As she has got older she has become more laid-back,” Wood said of his $840,000 earner.
“Once she was rip and run on the track but now we have to give her a dig to run slower times.
“But she is going very well and I’m sure she can run very close.”
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2011 Travel Associates Classic Nominations
|2||BEDLUM (NZ)||Geoff Burns|
|5||CHEAP THRILLS||Kris Lees|
|7||DUAL CHAMBER||Rex Lipp|
|9||GENERAL SECRETARY||Brett Baker|
|10||HULL CITY||Tony Gollan|
|12||LUMINOUS HARMONY||Bryan Guy|
|14||MRS ONASSIS||Gerald Ryan|
|15||MY COOKIE MONSTER||Grant Allard|
|19||ZERO ROCK||Kelso Wood|