A number of classy performers will line up in Saturday week’s Group 2 2013 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast which has been the beneficiary of an increased winner’s cheque.
First prize in the race has increased $58,000 to $250,000 and among those vying for top honours could be Lights Of Heaven, Fiorente and Solzhenitsyn.
Peter Moody-trained mare Lights Of Heaven was second in the race last year before going on to run second in the Doomben Cup and win both the Eagle Farm Cup and the Brisbane Cup.
The five-year-old has been in good form so far this preparation, running second in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes and winning the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes.
Gai Waterhouse-trained import Fiorente hasn’t been seen since the Melbourne Cup when he ran second on Australian debut.
The five-year-old will again be set for Australia’s biggest race. Fiorente is nominated for a possible first-up run in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Queensland’s premier trainer Robert Heathcote scratched Solzhenitsyn from the Doncaster Mile due to a heavy track and has confirmed he will next run in the Hollindale.
Solzhenitsyn hasn’t raced above 1600m since 2009 and a good performance in the Hollindale Stakes could see him step up to 2000m for the Group 1 Doomben Cup.
The St Petersburg gelding was one of the stars of last year’s Winter Carnival, scoring three consecutive victories.
That campaign saw him earn a trip to the Melbourne Spring Carnival where he won the Group 1 Toorak Handicap and finished third in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au throughout the winter for all the latest carnival updates. Remember to back your winners at great odds with Races.com.au preferred bookie – bookmaker.com.au. The Australian-owned bookie is giving new punters every reason to sign up as they are currently offering a massive $500 bonus bet to new customers.