The lead-up to the spring majors steps up this weekend with a quality card of preparatory races to take place at Warwick Farm including the Show County Quality 2013.
A bumper 22 nominations have been taken for this year’s edition of the $125,000 Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m), 16 of which are resuming racing for the season.
In the mix are a whole host of previous Group 1 winners including the Guy Walter-trained Appearance.
The Commands mare boasts three elite level trophies already, her most recent win being a half length effort over Red Tracer in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Rosehill in April.
Last seen running seven to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), which was run on a Heavy (10) track, Walter is hoping the five-year-old can make a successful return and add more black type to her already surprising record.
Walter has also nominated for his Group 2 winning four-year-old Toydini and Willy Jimmy.
As with the day’s feature race, the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), Sydney’s head trainer Chris Waller looks to have a stranglehold over the Show County Quality nominations with five entries.
Among Waller’s hopes are talented Melbourne Cup bound stayer Kelinni who ran fourth in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last spring, veteran eight-year-old Metal Bender who hasn’t raced since their narrow 2012 George Ryder Stakes victory, and Doncaster champ Sacred Falls set to make their four-year-old debut on the weekend.
Also with a strong hand is Brisbane horseman Kelso Wood with three nominees in Brahms eight-year-old Belltone, last start Glasshouse Handicap winner Someday and stable star Sizzling.
Group 1 winning Snitzel stallion Sizzling hasn’t raced since their seventh to Linton in the Stradbroke back in June before which they won the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m).
Another big name nominee is then the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane.
The California Dane stallion is only lightly raced with seven starts to their name, four of which they have won including their opening three career assignments last spring.
First-up winner of the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) in February they were last seen finishing 10th to Pierro in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) beaten only two and a half lengths by the now retired star colt.
On Saturday Portelli has engaged the services of triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss for the ride, Boss keen to get on their back first-up and beyond.
“He gave me a great feel in the trial I rode him in and I was really keen to ride him first-up,” Boss told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“He has form around Pierro last spring and with the way the sprinting ranks are, he could step up to that (Group 1) level.
“I think he is having this one run in Sydney and then coming to Melbourne, and I didn’t wanted to miss out on being on him.
“He isn’t that big but he is more athletic and does give the feel that at 1200 and 1400 he is going to be up with the best of them. He will be a good chance first-up because of that nature.”
See below for the full Show County Quality 2013 nominations with final acceptances due out on Wednesday.
2013 Show County Quality Nominations
Warwick Farm Racecourse – 24/08/2013
|1||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||104|
|4||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||100|
|6||KELINNI (IRE)||Chris Waller||109|
|7||KNIGHT EXEMPLAR||Gai Waterhouse||76|
|9||METAL BENDER (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|
|11||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||108|
|12||NORZITA (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||110|
|13||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||101|
|14||RIVA DE LAGO||Chris Waller||102|
|15||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||111|
|16||SEE THE WORLD||Joseph Pride||105|
|19||TAGUS||John P Thompson||101|
|22||WILLY JIMMY||Guy Walter||95|