An exciting prospect from the Macedon Lodge stables kicks off a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign with the Robert Hickmott-trained Divan nominated for the McKenzie Stakes 2014.
One of two black-type races on the Moonee Valley card for Saturday, the $120,000 Listed Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) this year attracted a bumper 26 nominations.
The McKenzie Stakes is the ideal starting point for three-year-old colts and geldings heading towards the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11.
And the shortest priced of the entries for Saturday in the upcoming Group 1 through Ladbrokes.com.au in their futures markets is nicely-bred Zabeel colt Divan.
Racing first-up after a good Flemington debut back on ANZAC Day at the end of April, Divan pays $21 to win the 2014 Caulfield Guineas in markets led by Almalad and Brazen Beau at $9 each.
There he raced in the Listed ANZAC Day Stakes (1410m) finishing just over half a length away third behind Merion (1st) and Lights Up Manhattan (2nd).
It was an eye catching debut and on Saturday, if accepted, Divan gets the chance to turn the tables on the Michael Moroney-trained ANZAC Day Stakes winner Merion – a $26 Caulfield Guineas chance.
Also among the McKenzie Stakes nominations, O’Reilly gelding Merion is undefeated with two wins on his record already with the ANZAC Day Stakes win coming on the back of a successful Bendigo debut in March.
With two McKenzie Stakes entries is Godolphin’s head trainer John O’Shea nominating for Monochrome and Orujo.
Orujo is one of the headline nominees, the Exceed And Excel colt having won two and placed second in another two of his five career starts.
Two back in March he ran second behind subsequent Group 3 Breeders’ Stakes winning filly London Lolly in the Listed St Albans Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley before his latest effort, a 1000m win first-up at Sandown on August 6.
Other McKenzie Stakes hopes coming off a win include the Chris Calthorpe-trained Armageddon On It, Belflyer for John Moloney, the Peter Moody-trained Caveka and the Mick Price-trained War Point.
Adelaide’s Lloyd Kennewell meanwhile also has two livewire chances both coming off a win with the well-tried Silent Whisper and lightly raced stablemate Sovereign Duke.
Other key nominees include the two Leon & Troy Corstens-trained entries Coram and Awesome Rock.
Fastnet Rock colt Awesome Rock, another $26 shot for the Caulfield Guineas, is Group 2 performed having backed up from a Sandown win in the autumn to run second behind Zululand in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
He also ran ninth when defeating just one other runner last start at Rosehill in their Sydney debut when stepped back down in distance for the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 22.
See below for the full Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes nominations.
Then to back your early picks for the Caulfield Guineas and gear up for the weekend’s racing head over to Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will be matched 100% up to $250 as a bonus bet to use on up to four markets of your choice!
2014 McKenzie Stakes Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 23/08/2014
|1||ARMAGEDDON ON IT||Chris Calthorpe|
|2||AWESOME ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens|
|5||CASTELO S||Clinton McDonald|
|6||CAVEKA||Peter G Moody|
|7||CORAM||Leon & Troy Corstens|
|8||DIVAN (NZ)||Robert Hickmott|
|9||FAST CASH||Wendy Kelly|
|10||MERION (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|14||PETROLOGY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|15||REIGNING METEOR||Matthew Williams|
|16||RIB EYE||Clinton McDonald|
|17||RICH ENUFF||Ken Keys|
|18||ROYCEY||Daniel P Kelly|
|20||SILENT WHISPER||Lloyd Kennewell|
|21||SOVEREIGN DUKE||Lloyd Kennewell|
|24||TUDOR S||Doug Harrison|
|26||WAR POINT||Mick Price|