This Saturday Sydney’s Rosehill Gardens Racecourse will host one of the biggest days of the autumn with a bumper meeting headlined by five Group 1 races, one of which is the three-year-old fillies’ Vinery Stud Stakes 2013, formerly known as the Storm Queen Stakes.
Won 12 months ago by the since-retired superstar Mosheen, this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) has attracted 20 nominations and is a good guide for fillies heading towards the $550,000 Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 20.
One of the big name entries in the Vinery Stud Stakes 2013 is the Bart Cummings-trained Norzita.
The Thorn Park filly enjoyed her first Group 1 victory last October at Randwick in the Flight Stakes over the mile and will be after another elite level this weekend.
This autumn Norzita’s had three top runs with a first-up stakes win at Moonee Valley, a second in the Group 2 Kenwey Stakes (1400m) at Flemington and most recently a devastatingly close third when just a long neck off the winner Appearance in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 23.
Saturday will be her first look at the 2000m but having progressed with each run and showing the signs of wanting more Norzita could prove hard to beat in the Vinery.
Other top-rated fillies in the mix include Clarry Conners’ Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi looking to bounce back after a disappointing 11th in the Coolmore Classic, the well-known Gai Waterhouse-trained Drifontein, Flight Stakes runner-up Longport and David Hayes’ daughter of Redoute’s Choice Alzora.
A handful of last-start winners are also nominated for the Vinery Stud this year including the Peter Snowden-trained Cameo who comes off a Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic victory over the 1600m at Kembla Grange when overcoming barrier 16 of 16, Pat Carey’s Zabeel filly Gondokoro and the Donna Logan-trained Habibi.
The flying New Zealand-based Habibi, a daughter of Keraar, has enjoyed six wins from seven starts back home including the Group 1 NZ Derby over the mile and a half on March 2.
She races in Australia for the first time in the Vinery Stud Stakes dropping back to the 2000m and if she brings her NZ form to Sydney is right on track for a win ahead of her Australian Oaks bid.
See below for the official list of nominees with the 2013 Vinery Stud Stakes final field and barrier draw due for release on Wednesday.
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2013 Vinery Stud Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 06/04/2013
|4||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||2||56kg|
|6||GOLD EPONA||Kris Lees||11||56kg|
|7||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||15||56kg|
|8||HABIBI (NZ)||Donna Logan||4||56kg|
|9||HOLD ME TIGHT||Barry Baldwin||13||56kg|
|11||LONGPORT||John P Thompson||5||56kg|
|12||NEVER DESPAIR||Jeffrey Caught||16||56kg|
|13||NORZITA (NZ)||Bart Cummings||3||56kg|
|14||PURPLE MUSE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||20||56kg|
|15||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||10||56kg|
|16||SHE’S A GIRL||Steve Englebrecht||17||56kg|
|18||TORIO’S PRIDE||Gary Portelli||19||56kg|
|19||WIND BENDER||Chris Waller||18||56kg|
|20||YOU’RE SO GOOD (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||7||56kg|