Derby Winner Leads Autumn Classic 2013 Nominations

Anthony Cummings’ Victoria Derby winning gelding Fiveandahalfstar will look to improve on their eye-catching second first-up when they return to Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday for the 2013 Autumn Classic.


Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar runs second-up in the Autumn Classic 2013. Photo: Steve Hart

Early entries for the $220,000 Group 2 BMW Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) attracted 12 smart three-year-olds, nominations extended until 10:00am (AEST) on Tuesday.

Heading the current list of nominees is Hotel Grand three-year-old Fiveandahalfstar who enjoyed an upset win as a $40 roughie in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) last spring.

They resumed on February 9 and came within a long neck of another win jumping as a $20 outsider in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) in an excellent run from the outside gate.

Like the bulk of the Autumn Classic hopefuls Fiveandahalfstar is heading towards one of the Melbourne Festival of Racing’s majors, the $600,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 2.

They currently occupy the third line of Australian Guineas betting at $11 behind $2.10 favourite All Too Hard, who races in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.

The $10 second favourite in the Australian Guineas odds is then the Mark Kavanagh-trained Super Cool who is also nominated for the Autumn Classic this weekend.

Fastnet Rock gelding Super Cool was a brave second in the Victoria Derby last spring on the back of a Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase win and was also defeated by Fiveandahalfstar when third to their second behind Mulaazem in the Autumn Stakes first-up on February 9.

Kavanagh expects improvement from them second-up here and is happy with their progression heading towards the Guineas.

Other notable Autumn Classic entries for 2013 then include Peter Gelagotis’ Norman Robinson Stakes winner Hvasstan and last-start winners Subiaso, Digitalism and the David Hayes-trained duo of Great Game and Sea Of Choice.

Check out the full list of 2013 Autumn Classic nominations in the table below with the final field and gates due for release on Wednesday.

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2013 Autumn Classic Nominations

Caulfield Racecourse – 23/02/2013

# Horse Trainer Hcp. Rating
1 DIGITALISM John Sadler 68
2 FIVEANDAHALFSTAR Anthony Cummings 108
3 GREAT GAME David Hayes 64
4 HIGH SHOT (NZ) Michael Kent 64
5 HVASSTAN Peter Gelagotis 86
6 LINGO Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra 65
7 LUCK’S A FORTUNE Pat Carey 62
8 MCNULTY Michael Kent 54
9 MUST CONFESS Kane Harris
10 SEA OF CHOICE David Hayes 64
11 SUBIASO Robbie Laing 70
12 SUPER COOL Mark Kavanagh 100