This Saturday as part of the Rosehill Guineas Day action in Sydney a field of talented stayers will face off in the 2012 Epona Stakes, nominations for which have now been released.
The top-rated of the early entries for the $125,000 Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) this year is Gai Waterhouse’s five-year-old mare Once Were Wild.
Winner of the 2010 AJC Oaks, Once Were Wild has won just one race since but Waterhouse hasn’t given up hope of a form rival ahead of the $500,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 28.
Three last-start winners have been nominated for the Epona Stakes 2012 with Gosford galloper All In Latin, Tim Martin-trained Fibrillation and Fill The Page.
Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones’ Dane Shadow mare Fill The Page showed a good return to form last start to take out the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) and after pulling through the run well her trainers are confident of another good performance on Saturday.
“She’s trained on very well since she won the Canberra Cup,” Joseph said.
“Our attention will turn to that (the Epona) this week.”
Fibrillation, meanwhile, broke a 10-month drought first-up on March 17, the four-year-old grey mare holding on in a close finish to beat home Cabernet and Older Than Time in the Listed Aspiration Quality (1600m) at Randwick.
Aspiration Quality fourth placegetter Crafty Irna has also been nominated for the Epona, Ron Quinton’s smart Starcarft mare having run a good second to Red Tracer the run before in the Group 3 Mille Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill.
Last year John Thompson’s Galileo mare Galizani ran fourth in the Aspiration Quality before their good win in the Epona Stakes, the race only holding Listed status then.
Galizani has been nominated to defend her title in the Epona Stakes this year, but she could be outclassed having run a disappointing 10th in the Aspiration this time.
Other notable hopes include last year’s Epona Stakes third placed Vintedge, and the Guy Walter-trained trio of Brightest, Dancing Attendance and Foxstar who ran a credible seventh beaten only three and a half lengths by Ofcourseican in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au to view the full 2012 Epona Stakes field and barriers once released on Wednesday.
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2012 Epona Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 31/03/2012
|1||ALL IN LATIN||Grant Allard||65|
|3||CRAFTY IRNA||Ron Quinton||94|
|4||DANCING ATTENDANCE||Guy Walter||71|
|6||FILL THE PAGE||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||98|
|8||GALIZANI||John P Thompson||98|
|9||MIRJULISA LASS||Gregory Hickman||98|
|11||ONCE WERE WILD||Gai Waterhouse||108|
|12||SECOND DRAW||John P Thompson||66|
|13||SHARP PRINCESS (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||93|
|14||SNAKE DANCER||Keith Horobin||63|
|15||TIGRESS LILY||John O’Shea||79|