Last start Lord Mayor’s Cup winner Zephyron will seek another Sydney win this weekend as the headline nominee for the WJ McKell Cup 2014.
Yesterday Racing NSW received 17 nominees for this year’s $100,000 Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m), the premier race running at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
One of the early fancies is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Zephyron, the Zabeel five-year-old seeking back-to-back Cup wins in Sydney.
Last start on May 10 they improved on a disappointing 11th in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) on April 26 to score a narrow victory in the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) over I’m Imposing at Rosehill.
They step up to the mile and a half if accepted for Saturday then and will go up one kilo from 54kg to 55kg in the WJ McKell Cup weights.
Chris Waller’s Lord Mayors Cup runner-up I’m Imposing and third placed Secessio are also both nominated for a rematch this weekend.
Imported Danehill Dancer eight-year-old I’m Imposing came within a long neck of Zephyron last start on the back of a JRA Plate fifth, the veteran galloper looking to turn the tables here.
They carried 55kg in the Lord Mayors and go up to 55.5kg for the WJ McKell Cup if the top weight Permit (59kg), also from the Waller stables, accepts.
Their stable mate Secessio meanwhile has 54.5kg for Saturday, the same weight the Konigstiger five-year-old had for the Lord Mayors third when a further length away to finish off the trifecta.
Waller has a stranglehold over the WJ McKell Cup nominations this year too with Lord Mayors fifth placed Dansili seven-year-old Permit, I’m Imposing and Secessio joined by four others to give their master trainer a total of seven entries.
His other hopes are Wazn, Sacred Flyer, Madam Nash and JRA Plate runner-up Danchai coming off a nice second behind Pretty Pins in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (200m) in Brisbane from May 10.
Following Permit in the weights meanwhile is the Joe Pride-trained Destiny’s Kiss (57kg) going down a kilo from the weight they carried to a disappointing fifth behind Cameo in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) last Friday.
The Power Of Destiny five-year-old goes up from a mile to 2400m here if accepted, a notable rise in distance, but one they are tipped to enjoy having seen it on New Year’s Day when third to Permit in the Listed Tatts Cup (2400m) at Randwick.
Other notable hopes then include the Leon Corstens-trained Port Adelaide Cup runner-up Zabeelionaire and VRC St Ledger winner Order Of The Sun for Gai Waterhouse last seen running sixth behind Kushadasi in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) on May 3.
See below for the full WJ McKell Cup 2014 nominations, the final field and barriers due out on Wednesday.
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2014 WJ McKell Cup Nominations & Weights
Randwick Racecourse – 24/05/2014
|1||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||1||59kg||103|
|2||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||2||57kg||99|
|3||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||3||55.5kg||96|
|4||DANCHAI (GB)||Chris Waller||4=||55kg||95|
|5||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||4=||55kg||95|
|6||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||4=||55kg||95|
|7||SECESSIO (GB)||Chris Waller||7=||54.5kg||94|
|8||WAZN (IRE)||Chris Waller||7=||54.5kg||94|
|9||SACRED FLYER (NZ)||Chris Waller||9||54kg||87|
|10||MADAM NASH||Chris Waller||10||54kg||85|
|12||ORDER OF THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse||12||54kg||80|
|13||ASTRO AVALANCHE (GB)||Sam Kavanagh||13||54kg||79|
|14||SOMMERNACHTSTRAUM (GER)||Kris Lees||14||54kg||78|
|15||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||15||54kg||77|
|16||CARRY ON SINGING||Ethne Potowski||16=||54kg||72|
|17||KOBI SUN||Guy Walter||16=||54kg||72|