This Saturday the racing action in Sydney settles down after the Group 1 majors of the autumn carnival but there’s still two Group races to get behind including the Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2014.
There are 15 early entries for this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Panthers Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) with nominations extended until tomorrow at 11:00am (AEST), the top-rated of which is the Steve Englebrecht-trained Malavio.
Last seen in the winners’ stall back in September last year when taking out Randwick’s Group 3 Tramway Stakes (1400m), the Snitzel five-year-old is a multiple Group 1 performer including their latest effort from April 12.
There they held on when pushing forward to run a credible eighth to Sacred Falls in the mud at Randwick in the Doncaster Mile, an effort they’ll improve on against an easier field at Hawkesbury if accepted for the weekend.
The next highest rated runner is then the Peter Moody-trained Full Of Spirit.
This former New Zealand-trained daughter of Flying Spur comes off a ninth to Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in her first run back down under since November 2012.
The Sapphire was also her debut run for Moody, transferred from the care of Roger James, and it is one she’ll improve on going up to a mile second-up.
There are then two last start winners in the mix with the Tony McEvoy-trained Harmonic and Flying Bay for Guy Walter.
Delago Brom gelding Harmonic won over 1400m at Warwick Farm a month ago but runs well fresh so will enjoy the four week break while Snitzel mare Flying Bay took out a Benchmark 80 at Kensington on April 16.
Also coming off good last start efforts are the likes of Paul Messara’s Flying Spur four-year-old Rowie who was third to Flying Bay last time out at Kensington, the Hawkes-trained Doncaster Prelude runner-up behind Weary Leebaz and the Peter Snowden-trained Wistful.
Tiger Hill mare Wistful dropped back in class last Friday at Warwick Farm and enjoyed running over her pet distance of a mile when runner-up to Destiny’s Kiss in a Benchmark 95.
It’s an effort Snowden is hoping she can repeat this weekend back up to Group company after failing to finish in her three latest stakes efforts this autumn.
“Wistful will run in the Hawkesbury Cup and she is just hitting her form and is ready to peak,” Snowden told WA Today.
“She was only just run down by Destiny’s Kiss the other day at Warwick Farm.”
Other notable hopes then include New Zealand-bred Iggi Pop for John Sargent, David Payne’s Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Laser Flash and Star Wars out to improve on a dead last in the Tulloch Stakes last time out.
Check out the full Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2014 nominations below, staying tuned to Races.com.au for the final field out on Wednesday.
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2014 Hawkesbury Gold Cup Nominations
Hawkesbury Racecourse – 03/05/2014
|1||COURT CONNECTION||Kurt Goldman||86|
|2||FLYING BAY||Guy Walter||85|
|3||FULL OF SPIRIT||Peter G Moody||100|
|5||IGGI POP (NZ)||John Sargent||83|
|6||KEEP COOL (NZ)||Joseph Pride||90|
|8||LASER FLASH||David Payne||80|
|9||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||97|
|11||MOURO (USA)||Tony McEvoy||107|
|13||STAR WARS (NZ)||Scott Aspery||62|
|14||THE GREAT SNOWMAN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||88|