This Saturday a field of classy sprinters, many starting their early Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival preparations, will face off in the Sir John Monash Stakes 2013 at Caulfield Racecourse with nominations for the weight-for-age feature now closed.
There are 18 early entries for this year’s edition of the $120,000 Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) including a number of individual Group 1 winners such as the Gerald Ryan-trained Mrs Onassis.
The General Nediym mare won the Oakleigh Plate over this track and distance back in February but was well beaten in her next two autumn runs.
She went back home to Sydney after the Oakleigh but could only manage to run eight to Snitzerland in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) in March and then 11th to Arinosa in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 13.
Mrs Onassis is the equal top-rated runner among the Monash Stakes nominations on 105 along with Clinton McDonald’s Mossman six-year-old Second Effort.
A Group 2 winner, Second Effort was last seen winning the Wangoom Handicap at Warrnambool on May 1 where they carried a big 58.5kg to victory.
Three other last start winners are also nominated for the Monash this weekend including the lightly-raced Aregee McLaren.
David Jolly’s Adelaide raider has had just the six starts to date but is yet to finish out of the money with four wins, a second and a third.
They were last seen winning over 100m at Morphettville Parks on June 22 with the Monash to be their first interstate assignment should they accept.
The others going for back-to-back wins would then be the Team Hawkes-trained Happy Galaxy and David Hayes’ Rock Of Gibraltar gelding Pago Rock.
Nadeem colt Happy Galaxy is a winner of five of their eight starts to date including their last four on the trot during the summer.
Progressing through the ranks at haste they broke their black type maiden on Australia Day at Caulfield with a three length effort in the Listed Zeditave Stakes (1200m) before their last run, a half length victory over Skytrain in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 9.
Five-year-old Pago Rock meanwhile was a Flemington winner in one of the All Victorian Handicap heats on June 22 and will be after their first stakes win for their new trainer since being transferred from Peter Moody’s care a little over a year ago.
Other notable hopes in the mix then include four-year-old Zamorar who boasts three Group placings as well as a fourth to Sepoy in the 2011 Coolmore Stud Stakes, local Zeditave eight-year-old Zedi Knight still racing well despite their age and Atomic Force.
The Darren Smith-trained Atomic Force is a rising seven-year-old son of Danehill Dancer and is a dual Group 1 winner having taken out the 2011 The Galaxy and last year’s Railway Stakes in New Zealand.
They haven’t raced since their distant ninth to Black Caviar in her swansong race, the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in mid-April, where they were defeated nearly 16 lengths.
Atomic Force hasn’t won a race since the Railway during their trip across the Tasman but Smith is confident they can come back and return to form this season after overcoming a pulled muscle sustained in the TJ Smith Stakes.
“He pulled up a bit average after the TJ,” Smith said.
“He had a bit of a muscle injury in his hind quarters so we decided to give him some time off to get over it.
“He trialled well and we’ll see how he works on Tuesday before we make a final decision but the plan is to take him to Caulfield for the Listed race and then see where we go from there.”
Check out the full Sir John Monash Stakes nominations below with the final field and barriers due for release on Wednesday.
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2013 Sir John Monash Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 13/07/2013
|1||AREGEE MCLAREN||David Jolly||82|
|2||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||103|
|3||BIG BUDDIE||Andrew Sawden||82|
|4||BLOOMINGDALE MISS||Robert Smerdon||76|
|6||ELITE ELLE||Tony Vasil||94|
|7||FINISHING CARD||Clinton McDonald||82|
|8||HAPPY GALAXY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||100|
|9||MRS ONASSIS||Gerald Ryan||105|
|10||NICHOLLS COURT||Craig Dickson||82|
|11||NOISETTE||David Brideoake & David Feek||58|
|12||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||101|
|13||SECOND EFFORT||Clinton McDonald||105|
|14||SERENE STAR||Michael Kent||98|
|18||ZEDI KNIGHT||Brendan McCarthy||97|