This weekend the sole Australian Group race takes place at Caulfield Racecourse in Victoria with the Sir John Monash Stakes 2014.
This year’s $135,000 Group 3 Polytrack Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) has attracted 16 nominations including the in-form Robbie Laing-trained youngster Lord Of The Sky.
The Cranbourne-based Danerich colt has won four of their seven career starts to date and is looking to step up in class and atone for their last Black Type run when dead last in the Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) in February.
They’ve had two runs since then and performed much better in both including their last start win over Elite Elle in a 1000m open handicap at Caulfield on May 17.
There are two other last start winners among the nominees too, last year’s John Monash Stakes winner Pago Rock having won their lead-up run, with Hard Romp and Mezeray Miss.
The Ciaron Maher-trained Hard Spun four-year-old Hard Romp thrived on a Heavy (8) at Sandown on June 18 for a nice sprint win, while Matt Laurie’s Artie Schiller filly Mezeray Miss took out the Listed Twilight Glow (1400m) at the track back in mid-November but hasn’t raced since.
The three top rated runners among the entries then are the Ken Sweeney-trained Riziz, Peter Moody’s Ready To Rip and Le Bonsir for Mick Price.
Adelaide-trained Zariz five-year-old Riziz failed in the Listed Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington on May 24 when 10th to Lonhspresso, but was on fire before that.
They won back-to-back races over the distance back home at Morphettville and then finished third to Smokin’ Joey in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m), form they are looking to return to in their next Melbourne run.
Ready To Rip also needs to bounce back from an unplaced effort in the same lead-up race having run seventh in the straight six on the back of a The Goodwood fifth from the More Than Ready six-year-old.
Le Bonsir meanwhile finished off better when runner-up in the Straight Six two back, the Choisir gelding last seen running fourth in a 1200m Moonee Valley handicap on June 21 when beaten just over half a length.
Second and third placegetters in that same race at the Valley also feature in the Sir John Monash Stakes nominations.
Runner-up Nearest To Pin is prepared in Adelaide by Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas and is improving each run, while third was Dale Short’s Academy Jack who came within a long neck of the winner Pillar Of Creation in a blanket finish.
Others coming off decent lead-up form include Street Sense three-year-old Hard Stride who has run top two in their four most recent runs, the returning Good Value for Mick Kent in their first run since early May and the Mark Webb-trained mare Johannapine.
See below for the full Sir John Monash Stakes 2014 nominations, the final field set for release on Wednesday.
Make sure you’re ready for the weekend’s stakes racing action by signing up with Ladbrokes.com.au today and enjoy having your first deposit matched to the value of $250 as a bonus bet on the house!
2014 Sir John Monash Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 05/07/2014
|1||ACADEMY JACK||Dale Short||82|
|2||AFRICAN PULSE||Michael Moroney||95|
|3||GOOD VALUE||Michael Kent||91|
|4||HARD ROMP||Ciaron Maher||75|
|5||HARD STRIDE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||75|
|7||LE BONSIR||Mick Price||100|
|8||LORD OF THE SKY||Robbie Laing||93|
|9||MEZERAY MISS||Matt Laurie||75|
|11||MR MAKE BELIEVE||Robbie Laing||95|
|12||NEAREST TO PIN||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||92|
|14||READY TO RIP||Peter G Moody||102|
|16||SEA LORD||Stephen Brown||94|