Gai Waterhouse-trained Romantic Touch will make his debut as a three-year-old in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Romantic Touch was one of twenty-one horses included in the nominations for the 2013 Danehill Stakes that is set to be a key lead-up race for the Thousand Guineas (1600m), Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) later in the 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The son of Northern Meteor has not been seen at the races since his narrow victory over Zoustar in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival that came on the back of a dominant seven and a half lengths romp in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury.
Waterhouse has not indicated what the major spring assignment will be for the three-year-old gelding but he has been included in the nominations for the Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Another Caulfield Guineas hopeful that has been nominated for the Danehill Stakes is talented kiwi colt Cauthen who was also nominated for the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) on the same card.
Cauthen recorded his first victory in Australia in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on August 24 after he finished an unlucky second behind Clevadude in the Sweeney Can Do Agents Handicap (1000m) at the start of the 2013/2014 racing season.
The Darci Brahma colt never appeared to handle the tight turning Moonee Valley circuit, in his two runs at the venue, and looks as though he will relish the long Flemington straight.
Darley colt Safeguard will defend his undefeated record in the Danehill Stakes this weekend as he continues to work towards his spring target – the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on November 2.
The son of Exceed And Excel resumed with a narrow victory over Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the Group 3 Vain Stakes at Caulfield on August 17 and won the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
In-form filly Gregers will be given an opportunity to take on the boys after recording a comfortable victories in the Aquanas Foods Handicap (1000m) and Mitchelton Wines Plate (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Gregers is now on the second line of betting for the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m), behind Guelph, and will stamp herself as a genuine star if she can record her first win at Group level on Saturday.
Peter Moody is the most well represented trainer in the Danehill Stakes nominations with Il Cavallo, Kiss A Rose and Thermal Current all a chance to take part.
Other notable nominations include: Tony Gollan-trained Whiskey Allround, Fastnet Rock filly Scandiva and Patinack Farm-owned Hooked.
You can the complete Danehill Stakes 2013 nominations in the table below.
A number of these horses will be heading to the Thousand Guineas or Caulfield Guineas and you can find futures betting markets for both races at bookmaker.com.au.
2013 Danehill Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 07/08/2013
|1||CAUTHEN (NZ)||Andrew R Campbell||82|
|2||CHARLIE BOY||Gerald Ryan||70|
|3||CHURCHILL DANCER||David Hayes||70|
|4||ECLAIR BIG BANG (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||72|
|5||GODIVA ROCK||Michael Kent||78|
|7||HILL SPY||Robert Smerdon||68|
|8||HOOKED||John P Thompson||70|
|9||IL CAVALLO||Peter G Moody||68|
|10||KISS A ROSE||Peter G Moody||80|
|12||LUCKY STRIKER||Saab Hasan||60|
|14||ROMANTIC TOUCH||Gai Waterhouse||89|
|17||SINGLE DAYS||Jason Warren||64|
|18||THE BOWLER||Tony Vasil||73|
|19||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||68|
|20||THIS IS WAR||Shawn Mathrick||61|
|21||WHISKEY ALLROUND||Tony Gollan||82|