It is shaping-up as a huge year for Benjamin...
This Saturday Caulfield Racecourse will host the first Group 2 race meeting of the new season with Caulfield Guineas-bound Clevadude heading the nominations for one of the day’s features – the Vain Stakes 2013.
A set weights plus penalties race for three-year-old colts and geldings, this year’s $135,000 Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) has drawn a total of 15 nominations.
One of the top entries is the Rick Hore-Lacy-trained Bel Esprit gelding Clevadude who is heading towards a shot at the big time in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) back at the track on October 12.
They have won three of their four starts to date, their only defeat being a shock 14th to Real Surreal in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast back in January.
They atoned for that first-up at Moonee Valley on August 3 however with a nice resuming win over 1000m and are after their maiden black type win on the weekend.
Also coming off a last start victory is then the Robert Smerdon-trained Hill Spy who won on debut at Morphettville back on July 27 in a promising effort.
The top-rated entries are then the David Hayes-trained Fast ‘N’ Rocking and Peter Snowden’s undefeated Safeguard.
Fastnet Rock colt Fast ‘N’ Rocking has raced seven times to date but remains a maiden.
Still they have been raced exclusively in black type company including three Group 1 assignments.
Their best result was a good second to Miracles Of Life in Caulfield’s Blue Diamond Stakes back in February.
They also finished a credible fifth to Overreach in the Golden Slipper and to Guleph in the Champagne Stakes over 1200m and 1600m respectively during April at elite level.
Hayes has also nominated for Churchill Dancer coming off a third at the track behind The Hunterss in a Listed race back on April 27.
Exceed And Excel colt Safeguard meanwhile is out to retain their undefeated status having won their opening two career starts.
After a successful Flemington debut back in December they resumed off a four month break in mid-April to win the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick before being turned out for another spell to mature, which they have done.
“He’s a different horse,” stable foreman Paul Snowden was quoted by sportsnews.com.au as saying this week.
“He’s done everything right.
“It’s a kick-off point for him (on Saturday), and the races get harder. But he’s certainly a talented horse.”
Other notable Vain Stakes entries then include the talented Danny O’Brien-trained Shamus Award who ran fifth in the Blue Diamond and second in Flemington’s Group 2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) back in March, and the Peter Moody’s duo of Il Cavallo and Weinholt.
Check out the official Vain Stakes 2013 nominations in the table below and stay tuned for the acceptances which close on Wednesday.
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2013 Vain Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 17/10/2013
|1||CHURCHILL DANCER||David Hayes||70|
|4||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes||84|
|5||FREE FROM SIN||Anthony Cummings||–|
|6||HARD STRIDE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||65|
|7||HILL SPY||Robert Smerdon||65|
|8||IL CAVALLO||Peter G Moody||68|
|9||READY AGAIN||Tony Noonan||–|
|10||REGIMENTAL PRIDE||Stephen Brown||70|
|12||SHAMUS AWARD||Danny O’Brien||72|
|13||TEQUILA RED||Byron Cozamanis||–|
|14||THIS IS WAR||Shawn Mathrick||58|
|15||WEINHOLT||Peter G Moody||69|
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