Veteran stayer Ironstein has been allocated the top weight of 59kg for the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) that will be run at the home of the Newcastle Jockey Club on Thursday September 19.
Ironstein struggled in his first two runs after returning from the spelling paddock, finishing ninth in the Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) and 12th in the St Johns Park Bowling Club Handicap (1800m), but bounced back to his best form when he finished second behind Less Is More in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight ago.
The Zabeel gelding has been included in the nominations for the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m) but trainer Gerald Ryan said he is more likely to head towards the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) and the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).
Crafty Irna and Peal Of Bells have both been included in the nominations for the Newcastle Cup and have been allocated 57.5kg.
Crafty Irna began her campaign with a promising fifth behind Hidden Kisses in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) but finished towards the tail of the field in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) last Saturday.
Peal Of Bells finished second behind Glencadam Gold in the 2012 edition of the Newcastle Gold Cup and returned to form with a second place finish behind Wazn in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m) last Friday.
The Clangalang gelding has been inconsistent this campaign, winning the Stayers Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick in June before finishing at the tail of the field in the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) and beating home just a single runner in the St Johns Park Bowling Club Handicap (1800m).
Gai Waterhouse has the opportunity to win the Newcastle Gold Cup for the second year in a row, with Danas Bets and Tenby Lady included in the nominations, while other leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has entered Lucripetous.
Queensland is set to have a couple of entries in the race after Barry Baldwin-trained Flying Home and Brian Smith-trained Raeburn were entered for the Group 3 event.
The Newcastle Gold Cup was a key form race for the remainder of the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival, with Glencadam Gold going on to win the Metropolitan Handicap and finish six in the Melbourne Cup after his Newcastle triumph.
The full nominations for the 2013 Newcastle Gold Cup can be found in the table below.
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2013 Newcastle Gold Cup Nominations
|2||CRAFTY IRNA||Ron Quinton||1||57.5kg||98|
|3||PEAL OF BELLS||Gwenda Markwell||3||57.5kg||94|
|4||WINNING GLORY (NZ)||David Payne||4||56.5kg||92|
|5||GAZZA GURU||Stephen Farley||5||55.5kg||90|
|6||LUCRIPETOUS (NZ)||Chris Waller||6=||55kg||89|
|7||SAINT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||8||54.5kg||88|
|8||AGENT BAUER||Gwenda Markwell||15=||54kg||76|
|9||DANAS BEST||Gai Waterhouse||11||54kg||82|
|10||FLYING HOME||Barry Baldwin||9||54kg||85|
|11||GHOST PROTOCOL (IRE)||Paul Perry||13||54kg||79|
|12||MUIRFIELD (NZ)||Michael Moroney||15=||54kg||76|
|13||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||18||54kg||73|
|14||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||17||54kg||75|
|15||PRETTY PINS (NZ)||John P Thompson||6=||54kg||89|
|17||TENBY LADY (USA)||Gai Waterhouse||14||54kg||77|