Sydney’s top trainer Chris Waller could saddle up as many as six horses from his stables in this Saturday’s Apollo Stakes 2013 as he leads the nominations numbers-wise for the Warwick Farm feature.
A nice lead-up to some of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival’s later headline races including the $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 13 and the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on Sydney Cup Day, this year’s edition of the $250,000 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) has drawn 14 early entries with nominations extended until 11:00am (AEST) on Tuesday.
Five of those 14 hopefuls are prepared by Waller most notably his progressive stayer Gatewood.
An English import formerly prepared by John Gosden, Galielo stallion Gatewood will be racing for Waller for the first time this weekend having been transferred to his care at the end of last year.
They have had three runs down under during the spring most notable their Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) win but are yet to officially race in Sydney, something Waller hopes will change on the weekend as Gatewood heads towards the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper Day, April 6.
In the latest The BMW odds Gatewood is rated a $13 chance while Waller said he was also keen to run them in the $400,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 23 in the lead-up.
“Gatewood is a middle distance horse and the Ranvet is what we are aiming at,” Waller said.
Also in the mix for Waller are his Group 1 winners Albert The Fat, Danleigh and Shoot Out who is set to defend their title in the $350,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) back at the track on March 9.
“Shoot Out is probably the main flag bearer,” Waller said of last year’s Apollo runner-up.
“Everything is good with him.
“It’s another step for Danleigh who might be looking for 1600 metres now.”
Waller’s other nominees are then Kelinni and Tougher Than Ever.
The other headline entry meanwhile is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Glencadam Gold who is the current $7 top fancy in The BMW odds.
The imported Refuse To Bend five-year-old enjoyed a strong spring during their first Aussie campaign winning their opening four starts including the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m).
They would also go on to run a very competitive sixth to Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup over the two miles with jockey Tommy Berry spruiking them for big things this time in after their three length winning Randwick trial at the start of the month.
Waterhouse has also nominated for her Artie Schiller four-year-old Laser Hawk, winner of the Rosehill Guineas defeating subsequent Cox Plate champ Ocean Park last autumn who was last seen running third to Ethiopia in the Australian Derby over the mile and a half 10 months ago.
Laser Hawk may still bypass the Apollo however and be saved for a later return.
Other notable Apollo Stakes 2013 nominations include the Paul Murray-trained Alma’s Furry who won the Listed Bernborough Handicap at Doomben back on December 29, and Ron Quinton’s Catbird six-year-old Monton.
Local Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride meanwhile will shoot for back-to-back Apollo Stakes wins following his success with Rain Affair last year having nominated for Fastnet Rock six-year-old Hypurr, a former Hong Kong galloper prepared by John Size.
Check out the current 2013 Apollo Stakes nominations in the table below with acceptances to be taken on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2013 Apollo Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 23/02/2013
|1||ALBERT THE FAT||Chris Waller||111|
|2||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||97|
|3||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||100|
|5||DOCTOR DOOM||Guy Walter||92|
|6||GATEWOOD (GB)||Chris Waller||–|
|7||GLENCADAM GOLD (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||–|
|9||KELINNI (IRE)||Chris Waller||–|
|10||LASER HAWK||Gai Waterhouse||108|
|12||SHOOT OUT||Chris Waller||–|
|13||TOUGHER THAN EVER (NZ)||Chris Waller||–|
|14||WILLY JIMMY||Guy Walter||99|