Nominations are now out for this Saturday’s action packed Flemington meeting including those for the 2012 Let’s Elope Stakes, a race won 12 months ago by subsequent Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker.
This year’s edition of the $220,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) could again produce a winner for the upcoming $3 million Group 1 Tatts Cox Plate (2040m), running at Moonee Valley on October 27 during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
A total of 15 mares make up the Let’s Elope Stakes nominations, the highest-rated of which is Stuart Webb’s triple Group 1 winner Yosei.
An eye-catching third to More Joyous in the Doncaster Mile back in April, five-year-old Yosei resumed at Caulfield on August 18 but could only manage to finish 10th in the Cockram Stakes when unsuited to the Heavy (10) track.
On firmer ground over more distance on Saturday the daughter of Invincible Spirit is sure to be more competitive, Yosei nominated for all the spring majors including the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 6.
Following Yosei in the Let’s Elope Stakes ballot are then the Shaune Ritchie-trained New Zealand Oaks winner Miss Artistic who is nominated for the 2012 Caulfield Cup, and Canberra visitor Fill The Page.
Cambridge-based horseman Ritchie has also nominated for his NZ Oaks runner-up Zurella, the smart Zabeel mare his best chance in the $2.65 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20.
“They’re great pals from way back and finished alongside each other in the New Zealand Oaks, well clear of the third placegetter,” Ritchie said of Miss Artistic and Zurella.
“(The Let’s Elope Stakes is) a good race for them to kick off in and under the set weights and penalties conditions they should be well suited.
“The goal with Zurella is the Caulfield Cup and I’m hoping to sneak her in via the Naturalism or Herbert Power Stakes, which are ballot-free races.
“With Artistic I’ll play it by ear and assess her after she runs in the Let’s Elope.”
There are then two last start winners nominated for the feature with the in-form John Sadler-trained duo of Artie Schiller mare Lady Melksham and Ferguson.
Lady Melksham has won four of her five career starts to date including an excellent effort first-up in the Cockram Stakes in the mud at Caulfield last time out, while untapped four-year-old Ferguson is undefeated having won all three of their appearances so far having raced at Bendigo and Seymour only.
Other notable hopefuls include the Peter Moody-trained Total Attraction and John Gunning’s consistent Clangalang six-year-old Hi Belle.
See below for the full 2012 Let’s Elope Stakes nominations, acceptances to be taken on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.
Fancy a punt on the Flemington races this weekend but don’t have an online betting account open?
Join up with bookmaker.com.au today and not only will you have access to the country’s best sports and horse racing odds, but if you make a deposit and quote the codeword BONUSBET you will also be eligible for their generous $400 Bonus Welcome Bet Offer!
2012 Let’s Elope Stakes Nominations & Ballot
Flemington Racecourse – 08/09/2012
|2||FILL THE PAGE||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||3||57.5kg||92|
|3||MISS ARTISTIC (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||2||57.5kg||97|
|4||HI BELLE||John Gunning||4||56.5kg||102|
|5||LADY MELKSHAM||John Sadler||5||56.5kg||92|
|6||KNEELING||John P Thompson||6||55.5kg||78|
|7||OASIS BLOOM||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||7||55.5kg||70|
|8||BOOKLET||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||8||55kg||91|
|9||ZURELLA (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||9||55kg||95|
|10||BIANCON ROSE||David Brideoake & David Feek||10||54kg||87|
|13||TOTAL ATTRACTION||Peter G Moody||11||54kg||82|
|15||TWILIGHTING||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||13||54kg||76|