A widely exciting field of 19 has been nominated for the 2014 Group 3 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday, including several Group-level winners in 2014.
Peter Moody-trained A Time For Julia has returned to the track in top form this preparation, following up an impressive first-up win over Danestroem and Bonaria in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) with an strong second to superstar Red Tracer in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) on March 1st.
Amassing three wins and four places from only nine competitive starts to date, Moody has outlined the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 12th as A Time For Julia’s maiden tilt at Group 1 level, before a likely appearance in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) a week later.
Featuring as the most highly-rated runner in nominations for the 2014 Wenona Girl Handicap, Arinosa has been unable to make anything of an impact in either of her 2014 race starts so far, blocked for a run and finishing tenth in the Bellmaine Stakes first-up before being unable to overcome a poor jump in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) on February 22nd, finishing ninth.
Despite the less-than-convincing start to her current preparation, trainer Chris Waller has taken solace in the Dash For Cash mare’s strong 2013 autumn campaign, which delivered wins in both the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m), and is confident of re-finding similar form in the Wenona Girl Handicap.
Gai Waterhouse-trained Driefontein is another runner who is yet to reach top gear in 2014, finishing sixth in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) and fifth in the Millie Fox Stakes last time out.
Having been unable to match the fast finishing pace of her rivals in her most recently start, Driefontein will have to hope for an ideal barrier draw and a clear path early if she is to feature strongly against the talented Wenona Girl final field.
David Payne-trained Lilliburlero was not expected to figure first-up in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes first-up on February 22nd, however was delivered a sensational ride from jockey Jay Ford and finished nearly two lengths in the clear of fellow Wenona Girl Handicap nominee Recoinage and pre-post favourite Any Day Will Do.
Following the memorable run, Payne outlined the Queen Of The Turf Stakes as the major target for the in-form Redoute’s Choice mare this preparation, with a final lead-up event likely to eventuate in the TL Baillieu Handicap (1400m) on April 5th.
A final field of 18 for the 2014 Wenona Girl Handicap is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Wenona Girl Handicap Nominations
|1||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||96|
|3||ANGEL BEE (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||82|
|5||AVOID LIGHTNING||Les Bridge||97|
|7||ELITE ELLE||Tony Vasil||96|
|10||HOLY DELUSIONS||Tim Martin||75|
|12||MELIORA||Peter G Moody||88|
|15||SATURN ROCK||Grahame Begg||76|
|16||SINGLE STYLE (NZ)||Gary Portelli||85|
|17||URGENT BELLS (NZ)||Kris Lees||74|
|18||VILLA SPLENDIDO||Garry White||72|