Easter Saturday at Caulfield – 2012 Victoria Handicap Nominations

While Rosehill Garden’s Golden Slipper Day in Sydney is the highlight Easter Saturday race meeting this weekend, Victorian fans won’t be short of a good time either with the Victoria Handicap 2012 one of two Group features on the Caulfield race card.

Love Conquers All

Love Conquers All is the 61kg topweight for the 2012 Victoria Handicap at Caulfield this Saturday

Running along with the always popular Easter Cup, this year’s edition of the $125,000 Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) drew 23 nominations at early entry stage on Monday.

Father and sons training team John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes prepare the two top-rated and weighted hopefuls with Love Conquers All (61kg) and Happy Zero (60kg).

Multiple Group 1 performing Mossman five-year-old Love Conquers All resumed for the year with a credible first-up fifth, beaten under two lengths, by More Joyous in the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 24.

A Group 2 winner of The Shorts at Rosehill last September, Love Conquers All’s other most notable achievements include their three Group 1 seconds in the George Ryder Stakes, Doncaster Mile and Doomben 10,000 all on the trot last autumn – winter preparation.

Former Hong Kong galloper Happy Zero, meanwhile comes off a first-up sixth in the Canterbury.

Some of the other big name entries in the feature include the Mick Price-trained miler Testa My Patience, Peter Moody’s one-time 2011 Caulfield Cup fancy Lights Of Heaven and the Jim Conlan-trained Larry’s Never Late.

Last year’s successful Victoria Handicap quinella, winner Red Colossus and runner-up Time Matters, have also both been nominated again this year.

Greg Eurell’s Testa Rossa five-year-old Red Colossus has been less than impressive this year having finished 11th and 14th respectively in their two opening runs.

Eurell, however, remains confident of a form return when they defend their Victoria Handicap title on the weekend.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he kicked back,” Eurell said.

“Really there is no reason for him not to as he has given us every sign that he is in good shape.”

If successful on Saturday Red Colossus will become just the third dual Victoria Handicap winner in history joining Jet Fighter (1897-88) and Debrief (2002-03).

Meanwhile some of the Victoria Handicap hopefuls coming off good recent form include the Tony Vasil-trained Newcastle Newmarket Handicap fourth placed Under The Eiffel, Mark Kavanagh’s last-start Listed Matrice Stakes (1300m) winner at Morphettville Bagman, Anthony Freedman’s Super Saturday Stakes winner Smokin’ Joey and Stephen Mckee‘s Kiwi visitor Eight Schillings.

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2012 Victoria Handicap Nominations & Weights

Caulfield – 07/04/2012

# Horse Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp. Rating
1 LOVE CONQUERS ALL Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 1 61kg 112
2 HAPPY ZERO Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 2 60kg 110
3 TESTA MY PATIENCE Mick Price 4 57.5kg 105
4 LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ) Peter G Moody 3 55.5kg 105
5 BUDRIGUEZ David Jolly 7 55kg 100
6 LARRY’S NEVER LATE (NZ) Jim Conlan 5 55kg 100
7 RED COLOSSUS Greg Eurell 6 55kg 100
8 UNDER THE EIFFEL Tony Vasil 8 54.5kg 99
9 AGRIPPA John Sadler 17 54kg 91
10 BAGMAN Sam Kavanagh 9= 54kg 98
11 DEL PALIO Colin & Cindy Alderson 22= 54kg 76
12 EIGHT SCHILLINGS (NZ) Stephen Mckee 12 54kg 96
13 ERASET Danny O’Brien 19 54kg 87
14 FASTER SON Mick Price 16 54kg 92
15 FLAT CHAT John Sadler 15 54kg 93
16 IT’S CRUNCH TIME Doug Harrison 21 54kg 80
17 KUTCHINSKY Tony Noonan 18 54kg 89
18 LANGRIDGE STREET Michael Hibbs 22= 54kg 76
19 QUIDNUNC Peter Snowden 14 54kg 93
20 SHEILA’S STAR Mick Price 20 54kg 81
21 SHOCK VALUE David Hayes 9= 54kg 98
22 SMOKIN’ JOEY Anthony Freedman 11 54kg 96
23 UTAH SAINTS Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra 13 54kg 95