Illo Included in Doncaster Prelude 2012 Nominations

Bart Cummings import Illo has been nominated for the 2012 Doncaster Prelude with Cummings believing a drop back in distance may help the stayer who was disappointing over 2000 metres in both the Australian Cup and the Ranvet Stakes.

He is one of 19 horses nominated for the Group 3 race, which gives horses a final chance to press their claims for a berth in the $1.5 million Doncaster Mile due to take place on April 21.

Bart’s grandson and his stable’s Sydney foreman James Cummings said the legendary trainer believes Illo maybe better over a mile (1600m) than at longer distances.

“Bart’s thought for a long time he’s seen a little bit more qualities of a horse that is a miler in him than a two-miler in recent times, probably since his efforts in the spring,” Cummings said.

“Saturday is the horse’s chance while he’s fit and well to just find his level there and see if he doesn’t hit the line a bit better over a shorter distance.”

The German six-year-old is one of five international contenders nominated for the Doncaster Prelude with the most high profile being British horse Foreteller.

Trained by Chris Waller, the gelding won the Group 3 David Jones Cup last year and has four wins from 11 starts but he will have to bounce back from a disappointing first up effort in the Canterbury Stakes in late March.

Last year’s AJC Oaks winner Absolutely is another notable horse nominated and showed promise in his first start in 2012 when finishing fifth to Niagara in the Ajax Stakes.

Another former Group 1 winner included in nominations is last year’s Big 6 Metropolitan victor The Verminator who is returning from a spell after last running in November’s Melbourne Cup.

One nominated horse coming into the race in form is Peter Snowden-trained mare Raspebrries who is a winner of six of 16 starts.

The Lohnro colt has been impressive this year, winning the PFD Food Services Stakes at Flemington before running third in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley in late March.

Other horses included in nominations are two-time Group 1 winner All Silent and Octagonal mare Shannara.

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2012 Doncaster Prelude – Nominations

Horse Trainer Hcp Rating
1 ABSOLUTELY Michael Kent 105
2 ALL LEGAL Kevin Moses 91
3 ALL SILENT Grahame Begg 105
4 ALMA’S FURY Paul Murray 92
5 DIVORCES Peter Snowden 95
6 FAST CLIP Gai Waterhouse 98
7 FORETELLER (GB) Chris Waller 106
8 GATHERING John P Thompson 101
9 HAPPY TRAILS Paul Beshara 92
10 ILLO (GER) Bart Cummings 105
11 IRONSTEIN Gerald Ryan 102
12 LARRY’S NEVER LATE (NZ) Jim Conlan 100
13 LEGSMAN (NZ) John O’Shea 92
14 LODGE THE DEEDS Gwenda Markwell 93
15 RASPBERRIES Peter Snowden 102
16 REVOLT (NZ) Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 80
17 SHANNARA Peter Snowden 101
18 SPEEDINESS Colin Scott 95
19 THE VERMINATOR Chris Waller 105