A number of quality stayers have been included in the nominations for the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) that will be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Headlining the Craven Plate nominations are the Robert Hickmott-trained foursome of Fawkner, Masked Marvel, Mourayan and Seville but all four are not expected to be included in the final acceptances for the race.
Fawkner has also been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and is expected to remain in Melbourne for that race, while last year’s Craven Plate winner Mourayan is set to contest The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington.
Masked Marvel will be left with the task of defending’s the stables title in the Group 3 event and is expected to start the race as one of the favourites after impressing at his last start.
The Montjeu entire made his Australian racing debut when he was outpaced in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7 but returned to his top European form when he finished third behind Moriarty in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) despite drifting out badly in the final 200 metres and ending up on the outside rail.
Also backing up from the Hill Stakes will be Italian import Sneak A Peek who battled on well to finish fourth.
Sneak A Peek is still chasing his first victory in Australia but has been far from disgraced in his three runs this preparation; finishing eleventh in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and fifth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
Leading trainer Chris Waller is set to have a strong hand in the Craven Plate; with Kelinni and Thubiaan both included in the nominations.
Kelinni missed the Hill Stakes due to a bout of colic but won a barrier trial at Warwick Farm by three lengths last Friday and produced promising runs in both the Warwick Stakes and Chelmsford Stakes.
Thubiaan will be stepping up to Group 3 level for the first time in his racing career and will need to improve dramatically from his first-up run when he finished at the tail of the field in the Vale Keith Robbins Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick a fortnight ago.
The David Hayes-trained duo of Jet Away and Whisper Downs has been nominated for the Craven Plate but will only contest the race if they miss out on qualifying for run in the Turnbull Stakes.
Other interesting Craven Plate nominations include: Bjorn Baker-trained Cantonese, Kingston Town Stakes runner-up Honorius and progressive gelding Kingdoms.
There is a massive weekend of racing coming up at both Flemington and Randwick this weekend and you can find betting markets for every major race at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2013 Craven Plate Nominations
Royal Randwick Race 6 – 05/10/2013
|3||HIPPOPUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||85|
|5||JET AWAY (GB)||David Hayes||108|
|6||KELINNI (IRE)||Chris Waller||108|
|7||KINGDOMS (NZ)||John O’Shea||85|
|8||MASKED MARVEL (GB)||Robert Hickmott||109|
|9||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||111|
|10||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||95|
|11||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||105|
|12||SNEAK A PEEK (ITY)||Peter G Moody||104|
|13||THUBIAAN (USA)||Chris Waller||89|
|14||TRANSPORTER||John P Thompson||96|
|15||VAQUERA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||86|
|16||WHISPER DOWNS||David Hayes||99|
|17||WINNING GLORY (NZ)||David Payne||98|