Chris Waller’s popular veteran galloper Rangirangdoo heads the ballot for the Crystal Mile 2012 this Saturday, the weight-for-age feature one of the six Group races scheduled for Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley.
The dual Group 1 winning eight-year-old was in fine form two back running a brave second to stablemate Shoot Out in the George Main Stakes before Rangirangdoo failed to fire from gate 14 of 15 when 12th to Fat Al in the Epsom Handicap at Randwick on October 6.
They are now one of 16 early entries for the $220,000 Group 2 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) this weekend, a race they won by three and a half lengths back in 2009, Rangirangdoo also nominated for the day’s headline event – the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
“I think the Crystal Mile is the race for Rangirangdoo,” Waller said.
“He’s been to Moonee Valley before three years ago and won the Crystal Mile and I think it suits him.
“If he ran really well, he would back up in the Mackinnon Stakes.”
The $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) is one of four Group 1 features at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday November 3.
Other gallopers dually nominated for the Cox Plate and Crystal Mile 2012 on Saturday are then the John Sadler-trained Linton and Jim Conlan’s Redoute’s Choice gelding Rekindled Interest.
Galileo six-year-old Linton finished a disappointing 11th last time out to Cox Plate second favourite Green Moon in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Rekindled Interest meanwhile finished one better in the Turnbull having crossed five lengths away 10th, last year’s Cox Plate third placegetter rated a $21 chance in this year’s Cox Plate odds which are led by smart three-year-old Pierro ($3.80).
Both are only entered for the Crystal Mile as a back-up, connections of Linton especially hoping they go to the Cox Plate and atone for their recent lack of form.
“It’s a shot at the stumps from the boundary, but he loves the track and is going really well,” Sadler said.
Meanwhile other notable Crystal Mile nominees for 2012 include Stuart Webb’s triple Group 1 winner Yosei, Rob Heathcote’s flying Brisbanite Solzhenitsyn who won the Group 1 Toorak Handicap last start, and the Peter Snowden-trained Amibdexter.
Epsom Handicap runner-up Ambidexter will use Saturday’s mile showdown as a stepping stone towards the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on the last day of Flemington’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, Saturday November 11.
“He’s suited at a mile and kept fresh,” Melbourne stable foreman Paul Snowden said.
“He’s jumping out of his skin at the moment. He’ll have a nice piece of work (at Flemington) in the morning (on Tuesday) and hopefully we can present well on game-day and draw a good gate.
“The Emirates Stakes (two weeks after the Crystal Mile) is his grand final.”
See below for the full 2012 Schweppes Crystal Mile nominations with the final field due for release on Wednesday.
Whether it is the Cox Plate, Crystal Mile or another upcoming spring showdown the horse racing odds you’re after can be found online at bookmaker.com.au – home of the exclusive Pick Your Own odds markets!
2012 Crystal Mile Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 27/10/2012
|3||ILLO (GER)||Bart Cummings||100|
|6||OVER QUOTA||Mark Webb||100|
|7||RANGIRANGDOO (NZ)||Chris Waller||114|
|8||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||111|
|9||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||105|
|10||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||108|
|12||SPIRIT SONG||Aaron Purcell||105|
|13||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||95|