A bumper all Group nine-race program is scheduled at Rosehill Gardens for Golden Slipper Day this Saturday, one of the day’s minor features being the Tulloch Stakes 2012.
This year’s edition of the three-year-old set weights $175,000 Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) has drawn 12 nominations, the race having produced a number of good gallopers over the years.
Twelve months ago Gai Waterhouse prepared Tulloch Stakes winner Fast Clip, Sydney’s leading lady back on Saturday with three chances all coming off last start wins.
Canterbury winner by two over 1900-metres Compass is joined by the undefeated Strawberry Boy who comes off a blistering four and a half length win at Hawkesbury and Satirical Boy who carried a hefty 61.5kg to victory at Canterbury last start.
Along with Waterhouse’s up-and-coming trio the other last start winner among the Tulloch Stakes nominations is the John O’Shea-trained Iggi Pop.
The Savabeel gelding, formerly prepared in New Zealand by Vanessa Hillis where they debuted last April, has won both of their starts this time in on Aussie soil including a smart one and a quarter length victory at Randwick on Sunday over 1800-metres.
While Sunday – Saturday is a quick back-up for such a lightly-raced horse, O’Shea is confident Iggi Pop has what it takes to be competitive when they step up in class.
If he proves O’Shea right Iggi Pop could then move onto the $1.5 million Group 1 ATC Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 14.
“I don’t know if he would back up three weeks in a row to the (Australian) Derby but there are other Derbys,” O’Shea said.
“I’m excited by him.
“James McDonald is booked to ride in the Tulloch.
“The Frank Packer Plate at the end of the Sydney carnival would also be a nice race.”
In the latest Australian Derby odds at bookmaker.com.au, which are led by Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk ($4), Iggi Pop is rated a $21 chance equal with last year’s Victoria Derby winner Sangster.
The $125,000 Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) runs at Randwick on April 28 while “other Derbys” O’Shea refers to include the $350,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 5, followed by the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival at Eagle Farm on June 9.
The bigger name entries in the mix for the Tulloch Stakes 2012 are then Bede Murray’s Group 1 runner-up Darci Be Good, the promising Pat Carey-trained Ethiopia last seen running second in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley, and Paul Messara’s top-rated entry Rekindled Alliance coming off a second in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at the track on March 24.
Redoute’s Choice colt Rekindled Alliance is also the shortest-priced of the Tulloch Stakes nominations in the Australian Derby betting markets paying $15 through bookmaker.com.au.
Tomorrow the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) fields will be released for Saturday before the remainder of the Rosehill race acceptances, including those for the Tulloch Stakes, are taken on Wednesday.
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2012 Tulloch Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 07/04/2012
|2||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Bede Murray||–|
|5||IGGI POP (NZ)||John O’Shea||–|
|6||ISOPACH||John P Thompson||84|
|7||ON EVERY LEVEL||Scott Aspery||66|
|8||POLISH KNIGHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|9||REKINDLED ALLIANCE||Paul Messara||86|
|10||SATIRICAL BOY||Gai Waterhouse||80|
|12||STRAWBERRY BOY||Gai Waterhouse||70|