The sole black type clash to run in Victoria this weekend will be the 2012 Anniversary Vase at Caulfield Racecourse, the handicap feature shaping up as an exciting showdown by a number of top gallopers.
This year’s edition of the $100,000 Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) drew 22 nominations including two from the stables of local horseman Mick Price.
Price is likely to accept for both his Group 2 Crystal Mile winner Testa My Patience and Sheila’s Star who sit at opposite ends of the Anniversary Vase weight scale.
Testa Rossa five-year-old Testa My Patience is the second heaviest weighted entry with 59.5kg behind only 60kg top weight, imported European galloper Seville, while Snitzel mare Sheila’s Star fresh off a four length win at the track and distance gets in on the 54kg minimum.
“They both should run well,” Price said.
“Testa My Patience should be charging home but he’s going to be more suited at a mile.
“I’ve just been on the wrong leg with him.
“I wasn’t happy with his first up run at Moonee Valley.
“He was fair in the Victoria Handicap and he’ll run a lot better on Saturday.”
Sheila’s Star has also been nominated for the Listed City of Adelaide Handicap (1400m) in Morphettville in case she is balloted out of the Anniversary Vase, the in-form mare who shoots for her fourth straight win currently sitting 14th on the ballot.
“I’m going accept for both races with Sheila’s Star,” Price said.
“They’ve got the rail out 13 metres at Caulfield, so they are only running 12 (plus four emergencies).
“My preference is Caulfield as I don’t have to travel her as long as she draws well.
“I’m ninety per cent sure I want to run her at Caulfield.
“I’ve only had her for four starts and I would think she deserves a good show at a black type race.
“If she can get black type it will help her pedigree page and help her as a broodmare.
“She’s had 18 starts and I’m not sure there’s another 18 starts in her.
“So it would be good to nail some black type while we have the opportunity.”
Meanwhile Lloyd Williams’ recent acquisition Seville adds interest to this year’s Anniversary Vase.
Previously prepared in Ireland by masterful trainer Aiden O’Brien, Galileo stallion Seville makes their Australian race debut on Saturday, the horse last seen running a brave fifth in the Group 1 St Leger Stakes (2937m) at Doncaster.
They have also finished runner-up in three Group 1’s when second behind Casamento in the Racing Post Trophy (1600m) as a two-year-old, runner-up in last year’s Irish Derby (2400m) at The Curragh and then second to Meandre in the Grand Prix De Paris (2400m) in Longchamp.
Seville is being prepared with an eye on the 2012 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
A handful of last-start winners are in the Anniversary Vase mix this year including the aforementioned Sheila’s Star, Pago Rock, Peter Moody’s resuming galloper Elusive King, the Jason Warren-trained Freereturn who would be out for their fifth on the trot and Patrick Payne’s Cellarmaster.
Other notable Anniversary Vase nominees include Under The Eiffel coming off a second in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap, four-year-old Dusty Star, Echuca Cup winner Zubbaya and Fastnet Rock three-year-old Amah Rock.
Acceptances for all the Caulfield races this Saturday including the Anniversary Vase will be taken on Wednesday.
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2012 Anniversary Vase Nominations & Weights
Caulfield – 21/04/2012
|1||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||1||60kg||106|
|2||TESTA MY PATIENCE||Mick Price||2||59.5kg||105|
|3||HAWKS BAY||Neil Dyer||3||58kg||102|
|4||LIFE TO THE FULL||David & Scott Brunton||4||57kg||100|
|5||UNDER THE EIFFEL||Tony Vasil||5||56.5kg||99|
|6||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||6||55.5kg||97|
|7||DUSTY STAR||Peter Morgan||7||54.5kg||95|
|8||JUNGLE RULER||Peter White||9||54.5kg||95|
|9||UTAH SAINTS||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||8||54.5kg||95|
|10||A SHADE BETTER||Gary Portelli||22||54kg||60|
|11||ADAMS BELL||Nikki Burke||19||54kg||74|
|12||AMAH ROCK||Peter Morgan||17||54kg||82|
|15||CELLARMASTER (NZ)||Patrick Payne||16||54kg||85|
|16||ELUSIVE KING||Peter G Moody||12||54kg||92|
|17||FLAT CHAT||John Sadler||10||54kg||93|
|19||GOLD SAND||Lee & Shannon Hope||15||54kg||87|
|20||SEGURO (NZ)||Brian Jenkins||21||54kg||72|
|21||SHEILA’S STAR||Mick Price||14||54kg||87|