A high class list of middle distance gallopers has been nominated for the 2012 Ajax Stakes for Rosehill Guineas Day on Saturday, the race to run as one of nine on the bumper all black-type card.
There were 21 horses in total entered for the $175,000 Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m), a race often used in the lead-up for Doncaster Mile-bound runners.
This year the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) runs at Randwick on April 21.
Of the Ajax Stakes nominees, almost all of which are Doncaster nominated, just five are under triple figures in the latest 2012 Doncaster Mile odds at bookmaker.com.au.
The shortest priced of these is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Niagara at $31, out to give their trainer back-to-back wins in the Ajax Stakes following the success of Pureness in the feature 12 months earlier.
Encosta De Lago colt Niagra failed in their distance test during the spring when finishing nearly 18 lengths away 13th behind Sangster in the Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
They proved there was nothing amiss aside from not being able to stay next start when they came within a half-head of victory in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas over the mile.
Following a fourth month break Niagara resumed at Randwick on March 17 to run a close first-up second to Nobby Snip in the Listed Eskimo Prince (1200m), a performance that Waterhouse hopes they can go one better than on Saturday.
Waterhouse has also nominated for Fast Clip, a $71 chance in the Doncaster Mile markets at bookmaker.com.au, in the Ajax after the improving Snippetson four-year-old finished a good third to subsequent Coolmore Classic winner Ofcourseican in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on March 10.
Pied A Terre is then the next best fancied Ajax Stakes entry in the Doncaster Mile odds at a quote of $41.
Peter Snowden’s Ad Valorem gelding has won four of their six career starts to date, running second in their other two.
After breaking their Group maiden in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last month they were last seen crossing a length away runner-up behind Green Moon in the open-age Group 2 Blamey Stakes over the Flemington mile.
Rounding out the Doncaster hopes under $100 that have been nominated to race next-up in the Ajax on Saturday are then Bart Cummings’ Newmarket Handicap failure Rock Classic ($71) and the Mick Price-trained Group 2 winner Testa My Patience ($81).
Some in-form Ajax Stakes hopefuls this year then include last-start Randwick winner Knot Out, Blame Stakes fourth placed Speediness, surprise Newmarket Handicap third placegetter Star Of Octagonal, and the Guy Walter-trained duo of Al Dhafra and National Sprint winner in Canberra Hood.
Also among the entries is the resuming 2012 Australian Oaks winner Absolutely and the Gerald Ryan’s dual Group 3 winner Ironstein who will also be first-up for the year.
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au to view the complete 2012 Ajax Stakes field and barriers once released on Wednesday.
Until then why not check out the futures Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival odds available at our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au.
2012 Ajax Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 31/03/2012
|2||AL DHAFRA||Guy Walter||91|
|3||ALL SILENT||Grahame Begg||107|
|4||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||90|
|5||FAST CLIP||Gai Waterhouse||99|
|6||FIREBOLT (NZ)||Chris Waller||98|
|7||GATHERING||John P Thompson||104|
|8||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||92|
|11||KNOT OUT||Paul Messara||80|
|12||LADYS ANGEL||Joseph Pride||–|
|14||PIED A TERRE||Peter Snowden||99|
|15||REVOLT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||80|
|16||ROCK CLASSIC||Bart Cummings||104|
|17||SOMEPIN ANYPIN (NZ)||Gary Portelli||–|
|19||STAR OF OCTAGONAL||Todd Howlett||96|
|20||TESTA MY PATIENCE||Mick Price||104|
|21||TRIPLE ELEGANCE||Chris Waller||–|