A diminutive but classy collection of sprint stars, many resuming for the new season, have been nominated for the Missile Stakes 2013 at Royal Randwick in Sydney this Saturday.
The opening Group race of the 2013-14 season, the $125,000 Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) is a nice starting point for gallopers heading towards some of the bigger sprint showdowns of the Sydney and Melbourne Spring Racing Carnivals.
While there are only nine early entries this year, nominations extended until 11:00am (AEST) tomorrow, the Missile Stakes line-up shouldn’t dissappoint.
One of the headline hopes is triple Group 1 champion, the injury-prone Hay List.
John McNair’s gallant Statue Of Liberty eight-year-old hasn’t raced since running 10th when beaten nearly 20 lengths by arch rival Black Caviar in her swansong race – the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April.
Hay List returns off another lengthy spell looking to recapture their former best with an eye on the Group 1 sprints over the coming months having had two official lead-up trials.
They pulled through their latest mid-field finish at Randwick on Friday well with McNair to wait until later in the week as to whether they will run on Saturday.
Along with Hay List another Group 1 winner in the mix is the Gerald Ryan-trained Mrs Onassis.
The now six-year-old General Nediym mare ran first-up at Caulfield on July 13, this year’s Oakleigh Plate winner running a below par eighth when beating home just one other runner in the Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m).
Ryan is hoping she can improve on that going up to the 1200m on Saturday second-up.
Atomic Force is also a Group 1 champ having won the 2011 The Galaxy here in Sydney and later the 2012 Railway Stakes over in New Zealand.
The Danehill Dancer gelding though hasn’t finished top three since January last year.
Joe Pride meanwhile has two nominees with multiple Group 1 performer Rain Affair racing for the first time since their 14th in the Doomben 10,000 and veteran Honours List seven-year-old Title.
Rain Affair showed they were ready to return when winning their Randwick trail on Friday by a massive nine and a half lengths when ridden by Christian Reith.
Reith however will be honouring his commitment to Paul Messara’s recent Civic Stakes winner Mic Mac coming off a second in the Winter Stakes at Rosehill.
They come back in distance here which could be a bit sharp but after carrying 60.5kg last start will appreciate the weight-for-age conditions of the Missile Stakes.
Rain Affair then will be ridden by Nash Rawiller.
Stay tuned for all the latest spring carnival news and updates including the Missile Stakes field on Wednesday.
In the meantime why not check out the generous futures markets open on the spring majors including the Melbourne Cup in November open now at bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous $500 bonus welcome bet offer!
2013 Missile Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick – 10/08/2013
|2||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||103|
|3||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||100|
|4||HAY LIST||John McNair||117|
|5||MIC MAC||Paul Messara||106|
|6||MRS ONASSIS||Gerald Ryan||104|
|7||MY DESTINY||Kevin Berry||93|
|8||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||111|