Nominations for the 2014 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) have been released, with a particularly talented field set to line up at the Royal Randwick barriers this weekend, including Boban.
Having secured a perfect five wins from as many starts throughout his 2013 Spring campaign including the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1400m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes, Boban returned to racing for the first time in 2014 in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Randwick two weeks ago but was unable to make much of an impact in finishing fifth behind Appearance, who has also been including in nominations for the 2014 Apollo Stakes.
Appearance produced one of the most successful Autumn campaigns of any Australian runner in 2013; following up a close second to She’s Clean in the Listed Triscay Stakes (1200m) with impressive back-to-back Group 1 victories in the Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m).
After being placed in the spelling paddock in September, the Commands gelding has returned to the track in scintillating form and is a frontrunner to continue the perfect start to her preparation over a field that looks set to include six competitors from her Expressway Stakes triumph, including Speediness.
While unable to repeat a first-up victory in his 2014 spring campaign, six-year-old Speediness was consistent over his four proceeding starts; ending the year third begin Boban in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes on November 9th.
Having finished well off the pace in sixth in the Expressway two weeks ago, trainer Colin Scott has elected to include the Testa Rossa gelding in the 2014 Apollo Stakes as continued preparation for likely runs in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd and Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) on April 12th.
Chris Waller-trained pair Sizzling and Moriarty appear as though they will also line up for their second events of 2014 after being included in 2014 Apollo Stakes nominations.
Sizzling received noticeable attention leading into the Expressway Stakes two weeks ago and produced a strong sprint over the final 200 metres to finish the event third, two and a half lengths off the pace.
While outlined as one to watch prior to the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Irish import Moriarty was unable to live up to the hype that followed his campaign each week, claiming only one win from six starts and finishing outside the places in four others.
Howmuchdoyouloveme and Pinwheel also appear set to follow first-up Expressway Stakes run in the Apollo Stakes, while Alma’s Fury, Monton, Rain Drum and Tremec round out nominations for 2014.
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2014 Apollo Stakes Nominations
|1||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||99|
|6||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||109|
|8||RAIN DRUM||Gai Waterhouse||101|
|11||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||98|