The Grafton Cup Carnival kicks off next week and in anticipation of the always popular Sydney winter festival nominations for Wednesday’s Ramornie Handicap 2013 have now been released.
There are officially 30 horses heading towards this year’s $150,000 Listed Crowe Horwath Ramornie Handicap (1200m), one of the headliners being the Tina Cotsiopoulos-trained defending champion Howmuchdoyouloveme.
Formerly prepared by Con Karakatsanis who trained them for their emphatic four length Ramornie Handicap success 12 months ago, the flying Written Tycoon four-year-old has won their opening two starts for Cotiopoulos relishing their time in Brisbane.
A blistering two length victory in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) on June 8 was followed by a tight win in the Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) a fortnight later both at Eagle Farm.
In the Healy Howmuchdoyouloveme shoed their class carrying the hefty 60kg topweight on the Slow (7) track and also overcoming barrier 11 of 11 with Nash Rawiller in the saddle, and could prove hard to hold out again should they accept for the Ramornie.
Lightning Handicap runner-up Delago Bolt is also among the Ramornie Handicap nominations, James Lyons’ Deagon-based six-year-old having also run a brave third defeated a length in the WJ Healy Stakes.
Second in that race finishing only a long neck off the courageous Howmuchdoyouloveme meanwhile was the Natalie Mccall-trained Sunshine Coast galloper River Lad.
The super consistent stakes winning five-year-old is also out to turn the tables in the Ramornie, River Lad having finished third in the Ramornie last winter.
Along with Howmuchdoyouloveme there are just two other last start winners nominated for the Ramornie this year with the Don Robb-trained Big Bonanza and Tom Pratt’s Private Express.
A known mudlark, Startum five-year-old Big Bonanza relished a Heavy (10) Rosehill track at the rescheduled Winter Cup meeting on Monday to put three lengths on their rivals in a 1200m sprint from the outside gate.
Private Express also loves a wet track and was an easy winner in an open handicap at Murwillumbah on a Heavy (9) course on June 23.
Some of the other big name nominees meanwhile include Sue Grills’ close QTC Cup fourth placegetter Border Rebel, the Rob Heathcote-trained veteran Gundy Son who comes of a WJ Healy Stakes fourth, Glasshouse Handicap runner-up from last Saturday Celtic Dancer and Gwenda Markwell’s consistent Choisir four-year-old Bardiya who can run on any ground.
Also in the mix are two horses prepared by Peter Snowden with Commands gelding Soledad who hasn’t raced since March and former Group 3 winner Skytrain.
The full Ramornie Handicap 2013 nominations are detailed below with the final field due out next week.
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2013 Ramornie Handicap Nominations
Grafton Racecourse – 10/07/2013
|2||BANDIT QUEEN||Mark Lynch||61|
|4||BIG BONANZA||Don Robb||88|
|5||BORDER REBEL||Sue Grills||96|
|6||CASSIE’S FAVOURITE||Jeff Brasch||70|
|7||CELTIC DANCER||Noel J Doyle||–|
|8||CRAZY MAMMA||Bruce W Hill||70|
|9||DELAGO BOLT||James Lyons||–|
|10||EMOTIONAL CIRCUS||Kris Lees||91|
|11||GUNDY SON||Robert Heathcote||–|
|13||IDEAL POSITION||Jeff Brasch||77|
|15||NEWS ALERT||Kevin Moses||99|
|16||NORMA BETTY’S BOY||David Pfieffer||78|
|18||PRIVATE EXPRESS||Tom Pratt||77|
|19||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||–|
|20||SKATING ON ICE||Les Kelly||–|
|23||SPOT ON TARGET||Toby Edmonds||84|
|24||TEN TO ZERO||Ray McCall||–|
|25||THE JACKAL||Kane St Vincent||88|
|27||USAIN PRINCE||Sue Grills||75|
|28||VINTAGE MOSS||John M Fitzgerald||–|
|29||WAR ENDS||Toby Edmonds||85|
|30||YOUTHFUL JACK||Ross Stitt||97|