Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Kelly Schweida’s in-form galloper Cape Kidnappers heads nominations for the WJ Healy Stakes 2014 at Eagle Farm Racecourse this weekend.
The major support race of Tattersall’s Tiara Day, which brings the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival to a close for another season, this year’s $175,000 Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) has attracted 16 nominations.
The likely favourite of those if accepted is Commands six-year-old Cape Kidnappers shooting for their third win on the trot.
Second-up winner of the Listed Chief De Beers (1110m) by an easy two lengths at Doomben on May 24, Cape Kidnappers made it back-to-back wins on June 7.
There they held on in a tight Eagle Farm finish with Big Money to win the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) by a long neck in the ideal WJ Healy lead-up.
In the Lightning Cape Kidnappers carried 56.5kg to victory, a weight Schweida is hoping to get similar to for the WJ Healy this weekend.
Lightning Handicap runner-up Big Money is also nominated for a rematch on Saturday, Rodney Northam’s Choisir four-year-old having won two on the trot in New South Wales before that.
Also coming via the Lightning on Stradbroke Handicap Day are the likes of Rocky King (3rd), the John Thompson-trained Metallurgical (4th), Kelso Wood’s recent Doomben winner Seeking More (6th), the Jason McLachlan-trained Facile Tigre (6th) and Howmuchdoyouloveme (7th).
Twelve months ago Written Tycoon gelding Howmuchdoyouloveme, now back with original trainer Con Karakatsanis, won the WJ Healy in a tight finish with this year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner River Lad.
They’re after their first win since then if they run on Saturday defending their WJ Healy title where their trainer hopes they can improve on a luckless effort from a wide gate in the Lightning.
“With the run he had, I was worried how much it might have taken out of him but he pulled up better than I thought,” Karakatsanis said.
“Everyone put him to the sword after that run, but I think you drop off him at your own peril.”
Whether or not Howmuchdoyouloveme accepts for the race this year is key to the WJ Healy weights.
Last year they lumped 60kg to victory when saluting as the $2.70 favourite.
With their 105 rating they are the highest rated of the entries for the weekend and will head the handicaps.
For their seventh in the Lightning Howmuchdoyoloveme had 61kg with Blake Shinn aboard, Karakatsanis hoping for a lighter allocation for the Healy on Saturday where Nash Rawiller will take over riding duties.
“If he gets 61kg again, I will blow up,” Karakatsanis told The Courier Mail.
“He’s better off not going around if they want to kill him with weight.
“I can’t see how he should get that again. He’s going from a Listed race to a Group 3.
“The handicapper kills him. He’s come down a few points from his top, but he was being rated like a Group 1 horse. He’s only a Group 2 winner.
“He’s absolutely copped it. His consistency is the reason they give it to him.
“He’s not a three-year-old with brand new legs anymore. He’s a five-year-old that’s been around the block a few times. I have to look after him.”
Other notable hopes this year then include the Desleigh Forster-trained Adebisi who was runner-up in the Chief De Beers before their Lighting Handicap failure (11th), third in that same race Excellantes for Robert Heathcote and General Nediym mare Bennetta coming off a third to Sacred Star in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) from Oaks Day.
See below for the full W.J. Healy Stakes 2014 nominations.
Tattersall’s Tiara Day race acceptances close now on Wednesday with the final fields to be published right here so stay tuned.
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2014 WJ Healy Stakes Nominations
Eagle Farm Racecourse – 21/06/2014
|3||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||85|
|5||CAPE KIDNAPPERS||Kelly Schweida||101|
|7||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||98|
|11||METALLURGICAL||John P Thompson||88|
|13||ROCKY KING||Tom Bourke||97|
|14||SEEKING MORE||Kelso Wood||93|
|16||VINTAGE MOSS||John M Fitzgerald||94|
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