This Saturday Caulfield Racecourse will host three races offering a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner including the 2012 Herbert Power Stakes.
Twenty-two stayers have been nominated for the $220,000 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), three internationals in the mix including French galloper Shahwardi.
Stablemate of 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain the fellow Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Shahwardi, currently 44th in the Caulfield Cup order of entry, was last seen running a brave third to Joshua Tree in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) back in August.
The Lando seven-year-old was ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, who made a special trip to partner with the horse, in a searching gallop at the Werribee International Horse Centre on Monday ahead of their Australian debut in the Herbert Power.
The horse walked a lap and then worked strongly from the 1400 metres finishing their final 1200m in just over 1:16, and their last 600m in 36.3 seconds in what was easily the strongest work of any horse at the centre this morning.
The other overseas raiders who are nominated to run down under for the first time on Saturday are then the John Gosden-trained Gatewood and Luca Cumani’s son of Shirocco Ibicenco.
Galileo stallion Gatewood has been in flying form back home in the UK heading into their Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival raid including their close last start second to Masterstroke in the Group 2 Prix De Deauville (2500m) in France on August 26.
They too worked well this morning trotting a circuit before doing a second circuit at three quarter pace and while they haven’t been really tested look to be moving well.
Ibicenco meanwhile hasn’t raced since their disappointing seventh to Times Up in the Group 2 Londsdale Cup (3299m) in York and is yet to be confirmed for the Herbert Power on Saturday the horse having been working with stablemate Afsare each morning at Werribee coming along well under the radar a bit.
While Shahwardi is a triple figure roughie in the bookmaker.com.au markets for both the $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20 and the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6, Gatewood and Ibecenco are better fancied for the spring cups.
Gatewood pays $34 in the Caulfield Cup odds and $51 to win the 2012 Melbourne Cup in an upset while Ibicenco is rated a $41 and $61 chance in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup betting markets respectively.
The shortest-priced cup hope among the Herbert Power Stakes nominations meanwhile is the Leon Corstens-trained SA Derby winner Zabeelionaire ($26 and $61) who failed to impress when 14th (of 16) in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Caulfield trainer Robert Smerdon, who won the Herbert Power Stakes 12 months ago with Shewan, meanwhile will seek back-to-back victories with the ultra-consistent Destiny’s Kiss.
The Power Of Destiny four-year-old has won six of their 13 starts to date including five of their past six, Destiny’s Kiss last seen putting six lengths on their rivals when carrying 60kg to victory in a 2013m Benchmark 82 at Mornington on September 29.
The only other last start winner nominated for the race is then Group 3 JRA Cup champ Bianmick who will be out for their fourth win on the trot.
Other notable Herbert Power Stakes 2012 entries include the Robert Hickmott-trained duo of Midas Touch and Excluded, veteran Zabeel seven-year-old Precedence representing the ‘Cups King’ Bart Cummings, Sabrage and Gai Waterhouse’s surprise The Metropolitan third place-getter Reuben Percival.
Check out the full 2012 Herbert Power Stakes nominations in the table below.
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2012 Herbert Power Stakes Nominations
Caulfield – 13/10/2012
|1||AULD BURNS (GB)||David Hayes||81|
|3||BUDAI (GER)||David Hayes||90|
|4||DANCE WITH HER||David Brideoake & David Feek||103|
|5||DESTINY’S KISS||Robert Smerdon||87|
|6||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||98|
|7||EXCLUDED (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||97|
|8||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden||101|
|9||GUNS AT FIVE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||90|
|10||IBICENCO (GER)||Luca Cumani||100|
|11||I’M JAKE (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||91|
|13||MIDAS TOUCH (GB)||Robert Hickmott||107|
|14||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||95|
|15||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||105|
|16||RED EYE SPECIAL (NZ)||Michael Moroney||82|
|17||REUBEN PERCIVAL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||98|
|19||SHAHWARDI (FR)||Alain de Royer Dupre||101|
|20||SILENT SURROUND||William Smart||93|
|21||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||104|
|22||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||101|