One of the feature races at Warwick Farm’s Villiers Stakes Day program this Saturday is the Inglis Nursery 2012 which attracted 15 nominations this year.
The $250,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m), open exclusively to juvenile Inglis graduates, is shaping up as a wide-open affair with only five of the 15 entered having had a previous race start.
Among those are two debut winners with Strada filly Sweet Kiss who took at a 900m maiden at Newcastle back on November 18, and the Barbara Joesph & Paul Jones-trained Chasing Charlie.
Myboycharlie gelding Chasing Charlie makes his first interstate trip at career start number two after an ultra-impressive and a half length win on debut at Canberra in the Slickpix Plate (1000m) where they led by five lengths early before veering out sharply which lost them ground on the line.
“He had done very well in his work and in his trial so I didn’t expect him to duck out in the straight like he did,” Joseph said.
“I think he shied at something as the jockey changed hands with the reins. He’s pretty green but he seems to have plenty of ability.”
The ATC-based youngster is being spruiked as a genuine chance in Saturday’s race and beyond, connections hoping they develop into a nice type that can be competitive in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) back home at Canberra on March 10, 2013.
Also in the mix for Saturday’s Inglis Nursery is the Noel Mayfield-Smith-trained Standard Bearer, the Choisir colt having debuted with a promising second to Regimental Pride when defeated by the narrowest of margins in an 1100m 2YO plate at Rosehill in early October.
Winner of that race, the Joe Pride-trained Regimental Pride raced again last Saturday and staked their Magic Millions 2YO Classic 2013 claims with another victory at the track and distance in the Rosehill Gardens Handicap.
Now Mayfield-Smith is hoping that form stacks up for Standard Bearer also when they run this weekend on the back of a winning barrier trial over 805m at Warwick Farm last Friday.
“It was good to see Regimental Pride win again,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“People told me it wasn’t a very strong form race when he beat Standard Bearer but they may turn out to be wrong.”
The Villiers Stakes Day program runs this year at Warwick Farm with Royal Randwick undergoing a track upgrade, the only thing Mayfield-Smith believes goes against his horse.
“I’m happy going to Saturday’s race although I would be a lot happier if the race was at Randwick rather than Warwick Farm because I think he would be better suited there,” he said.
Looking further ahead Mayfield-Smith said the Inglis Classic was the next major target with the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), the world’s richest juvenile’s race running at Rosehill Gardens on April 6, also a possibility.
“He’s entered for the Golden Slipper but that’s a long way off,” he said.
“The bar keeps getting lifted with the two-year-olds as they go on so he will show the way.
“The Inglis Classic is as far ahead as we are looking at the moment.”
See below for the full list of Inglis Nursery 2012 nominees, the final field due for release on Wednesday.
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