Nominations are now out for one of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival majors with Chris Waller entering 13 hopes for the 2014 Epsom Handicap at Royal Randwick on October 4.
Four-time Sydney premiership winning trainer Waller won the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) last season with his now three time Group 1 champion Boban and plays another strong hand for the 2014 edition that attracted 87 nominees.
Heading Waller’s chances this spring is French import Weary, one of the early Epsom Handicap betting favourites at Ladbrokes.com.au in the futures markets.
Weary is also nominated for the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at the same meeting, the mile and a half classic also drawing 87 nominations today.
Third in the Doncaster Mile in April and runner-up in the All Aged Stakes, Astronomer Royal gelding Weary was last seen running sixth in the mud behind Tiger Tees in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) over the weekend.
Scratched from that race due to the Heavy track was pre-post favourite Messene, the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Lonhro gelding current favourite in early Epsom Handicap odds around the country.
The six-year-old Group 2 winner has a consistent record of nine wins from 14 starts and was runner-up to Sweet Idea first-up on August 9 in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m).
Reigning Epsom Handicap winner Boban will be back this spring to defend his title, the Bernardini gelding also scratched from the Warwick Stakes due to the bottomless track.
He also ran in the Missile running a close fourth, beaten under a length, and is looking to become the first back-to-back Epsom Handicap champ since Desert War (2004-05).
Other notable Epsom hopes for Waller include Group 1 performer Bull Point who ran third first-up in the mud at Randwick, Australian Cup third placed Foreteller, former Queensland Derby champ Hawkspur, French import He’s Your Man also in The Metropolitan contention and his dual Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls.
Last year’s Epsom Handicap runner-up Streama has since been retired but third placed Toydini, formerly prepared by the late Guy Walter, is in the mix again this year.
Stablemate to current Epsom top fancy Messene, the now Team Hawkes-trained son of Bernardini hasn’t raced since a below par autumn that concluded with a sixth to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
His campaign last time in was hampered by wet tracks however so with firmer ground he’s tipped for improvement.
The Hawkes have a total of 10 Epsom nominees this year with other notable chances for the stable including New Zealand Group 1 winner Atlante and Zabeel gelding Leebaz.
Five-year-old Leebaz hasn’t raced since his second behind Streama in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane back in May, before which he won the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m).
Another chance high up all-in Epsom odds is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Cluster.
The Fastnet Rock four-year-old won back-t-back races during the winter but hasn’t been tested at Group level since a disappointing 10th behind Long John in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last October.
The Snowdens have also nominated for the in-form Gypsy Diamond.
The Not A Single doubt mare ran a first-up fifth in the Toy Show Quality over the weekend in her first run since finishing second behind Diamond Drille, Gai Waterhouse’s mare another Epsom hope this October, in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 19.
Notable omissions from the Epsom at nomination stage meanwhile include Ecuador, Catkins, Cosmic Endeavour and the virus-ridden El Roca.
Other notable Epsom Handicap hopes then include Entirely Platinum who runs in the Premier’s Cup in Sydney this weekend, the Anthony Cummings-trained up-and-comer As Needed and David Payne’s Rosehill Guineas – ATC Derby champ Criterion who ran third in the Warwick Stakes first-up in the mud.
See below for the full 2014 Epsom Handicap nominations, weights to be declared on Monday September 15th after late entries close the Friday before on September 12th.
Our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au are set to release their updated Epsom Handicap futures markets shortly making now the time to sign-up with them and enjoy a bonus welcome bet valued up to $250 when you make your first deposit!
2014 Epsom Handicap Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 04/10/2014
|2||ANY DAY WILL DO||David Vandyke||86|
|3||AOMEN (IRE)||Anthony Cummings||–|
|4||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||–|
|5||AS NEEDED||Anthony Cummings||80|
|6||ATLANTE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||94|
|7||AUSSIES LOVE SPORT||Gai Waterhouse||86|
|8||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||–|
|9||BEST CASE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||85|
|11||BOLD CIRCLE||David Payne||70|
|12||BRAVE CENTAUR (NZ)||Lance Noble||95|
|13||BULL POINT||Chris Waller||95|
|14||CAMPANOLOGY (GB)||Chris Waller||–|
|15||CANNY BALLAD||Joseph Pride||94|
|16||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||88|
|17||CHINTZ (NZ)||Joseph Pride||–|
|18||CLUSTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||81|
|19||COMMANDING JEWEL||Leon & Troy Corstens||107|
|20||CRACKERJACK KING (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||–|
|21||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||110|
|22||DARCI MAGIC (NZ)||Bede Murray||71|
|23||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||106|
|25||DISSIDENT||Peter G Moody||107|
|26||ELECTRIC FUSION||Robert Smerdon||–|
|27||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||–|
|28||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||–|
|29||FORGET MAYBE||Anthony Cummings||71|
|30||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||101|
|32||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||98|
|34||HOOKED||John P Thompson||96|
|35||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||99|
|36||INTIMATE MOMENT (NZ)||Ron Quinton||89|
|37||JACQUINOT BAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||–|
|38||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||–|
|39||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||102|
|40||KITTEN ON THE RUN (USA)||Peter G Moody||–|
|41||LAIDBACK LARRY (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||89|
|42||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||109|
|43||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|44||LIBERTY’S CHOICE||Gai Waterhouse||–|
|45||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||–|
|47||LORNA MAY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||77|
|48||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||102|
|49||LUCKY CHAPPY (IRE)||Chris Waller||97|
|50||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||108|
|51||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||–|
|53||MR CHARD||Tony McEvoy||95|
|54||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||100|
|55||O’REILLY’S REVENGE (NZ)||Bede Murray||66|
|57||REAL SURREAL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||94|
|58||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||111|
|59||RECITE (NZ)||John Bary||102|
|60||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||–|
|61||RIVA DE LAGO||Chris Waller||101|
|62||ROCK HERO||David Payne||77|
|63||ROCK STURDY||Joseph Pride||87|
|64||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||111|
|66||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|
|67||SAINT OR SINNER (NZ)||Michael Moroney||–|
|68||SCRATCH ME LUCKY||Paul Perry||–|
|69||SENSIBILITY||Peter G Moody||75|
|70||SHAMALIA||Bart & James Cummings||85|
|72||SKIP TOWN||Matthew Smith||90|
|73||SLOW PACE (USA)||Kris Lees||–|
|74||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||–|
|75||SPIRIT OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||–|
|76||SPY DECODER (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||70|
|77||STAMINA||Peter G Moody||–|
|78||STAR ROLLING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||–|
|79||SWEET AS BRO (NZ)||Leon & Troy Corstens||92|
|80||THE BOUNCER (NZ)||Bryce Revell||–|
|81||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||109|
|82||TRAITOR||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||90|
|83||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||–|
|84||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||106|
|86||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|87||ZULULAND||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||–|