Local trainer Mick Price dominates Saturday’s Vain Stakes 2014 field with a trio of three-year-olds in the mix including his up-and-coming Caulfield Guineas hope Nordic Empire.
All three of Price’s acceptors for the $150,000 Group 3 KS Environmental Vain Stakes (1100m) are also nominated for the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) back at the track on October 11 including Wilander colt Nordic Empire.
But while their two better performed stablemates Jabali and Cornrow are Group 1 performed already, Saturday will be Nordic Empire’s maiden black-type assignment.
That hasn’t stopped bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au from installing them at the top of their Vain Stakes betting markets with money coming for the promising type to post their third win at start number four.
On the back of a seven month break they won at Moonee Valley last time out on August 7 and are now tipped to make it two on the trot when up in distance and class for the weekend.
Blue Diamond runner-up Jabali meanwhile has drawn barrier two, one outside of the rails-drawn Nordic Empire, on Saturday with Damien Oliver to ride the Exceed And Excel colt.
They haven’t run since their 11th in the Golden Slipper behind Earthquake but have worked well ahead of their return looking fit and ready to tackle this with the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney next month also being considered.
Like Jabali, Cornrow is also nominated for both the Golden Rose and the Caulfield Guineas and race first-up here.
They have a wider draw than Price’s other two jumping from barrier 11 with Chad Schofield booked for the ride, the Duport colt having run third in the Blue Diamond, 15th in the Golden Slipper and then third last time out behind Peggy Jean in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in the wet on April 12.
Another exciting 2014 Caulfield Guineas prospect running in the Vain Stakes this year is then the Robbie Laing-trained Boomwaa in barrier nine with Vlad Duric booked for the ride.
They are second-up on Saturday, the Mutawaajid gelding having run fifth in the Blue Diamond in the autumn on the back of a Group 1 run against the older horses when 10th in the Black Caviar Lightning.
They also finished fourth in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) last campaign and resumed with a third behind Saturday’s top fancy Nordic Empire at the Valley.
VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Zululand also runs on the weekend, the David Hayes & Tom Dabenig-trained Fastnet Rock colt last seen running second to Go Indy Go in the Champagne Stakes over the mile.
Drawn in the extreme outside barrier but still with claims meanwhile is Zululand’s stablemate Moonlight Hussler having just their second start.
Gate 12 could be the problem but jockey Nicholas Hall will be doing everything to get the Hussonet colt to settle form out wide and come home late in their first run since a win on debut in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) at the track back in October.
Other notable hopes include Laing’s other Cranbourne galloper Just For Starters and Get The Nod for Adelaide’s Lloyd Kennewell drawn in barriers eight and 10 respectively.
The complete Vain Stakes 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and set weights (plus penalties) are detailed below.
Vain Stakes odds are also now open online at Ladbrokes.com.au where punters will be refunded as a bonus bet up to $50 if their first Fixed Win odds bet on Saturday’s PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield runs second!
2014 Vain Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 7 (3:55pm) – 16/08/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2x49152x||ZULULAND||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||3||57.5kg||86|
|2||34122054×3||BOOMWAA||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||9||57.5kg||73|
|3||1x||MOONLIGHT HUSSLER||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||12||56.5kg||72|
|4||3x253303x||CORNROW||Mick Price||Chad Schofield||11||55kg||82|
|5||2x2270x||JABALI||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||2||55kg||84|
|6||13×1||NORDIC EMPIRE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1||55kg||73|
|7||310x65x4||I AM THE GENERAL||Shane Nichols||Jake Noonan||6||55kg||67|
|8||42x8116x2||STINGRAY||John Moloney||Patrick Moloney (a)||4||55kg||67|
|9||211x||REIGNING METEOR||Matthew Williams||Dean Yendall||7||55kg||66|
|10||15||JUST FOR STARTERS||Robbie Laing||Dwayne Dunn||8||55kg||66|
|11||1x||GET THE NOD||Lloyd Kennewell||Joe Bowditch||10||55kg||64|
|12||1||HONEST LEE||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Steven King||5||55kg||63|