Last start San Domenico Stakes winner Nostradamus is one of the headline nominees taken by Racing Victoria yesterday for the HDF McNeil Stakes 2014 at Caulfield this Saturday.
Group 1 racing for this year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival kicks off with Memsie Stakes Day on the weekend, one of the meeting’s major support races being the $150,000 Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m).
The race is a key lead-up for the new season three-year-olds heading towards the carnival majors for their age including the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) back at the track on October 11.
One 2014 Caulfield Guineas hope in the mix is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Nostradamus, the up-and-coming Medaglia D’Oro colt coming off a first-up win in Sydney.
Paying $17 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win the Guineas, Nostradamus is at a shorter $8 as the equal third favourite to take out an earlier Group 1 in Sydney – the $1 million Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 13.
Ridden by James McDonald last start on August 16 he enjoyed a good three quarter length win over Washington Heights and Law in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m), an effort the Group 1 Blue Diamond graduate (7th) will be looking to repeat in Melbourne this weekend.
The shortest priced Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas bound colt entered for the HDF McNeil Stakes meanwhile is the Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau.
The son of I Am Invincible is also at $8 in Golden Rose betting but pays $9 as equal favourite with Almalad in the futures Caulfield Guineas odds.
Brazen Beau was last seen running second to Almalad in the Group 1 JJ Atkins 91600m) at Eagle Farm in early June before which he ran second in the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) and won the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Another exciting Group 2 winner with Group 1 form is then the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Fastnet Rock colt Zululand.
Winner of the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in March he ran in two Group 1 races during April when fifth in the ATC Sires Produce and second to Go Indy Go in the Champagne Stakes over the Randwick mile.
Zululand resumed on August 16 at Caulfield in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) and ran fifth behind Get The Nod.
Also coming via the Vain Stakes is the John Moloney-trained second placegetter Stingray.
Hayes & Dabernig have also nominated for Debutant Stakes winner Moonlight Hussler who failed when 11th in the Vain Stakes first-up and Tale Of The Cat gelding Forgive And Forget.
Dominating the HDF McNeil Stakes nominations numbers-wise though is local horseman Mick Price with four entries.
Price’s chances are Group 3 Adelaide winner Moonovermanhattan, Vain Stakes fourth placed Nordic Empire, and his Blue Diamond Stakes third and second placegetters Cornrow and Jabali.
Duporth colt Cornrow was third in the ATC Sires’ Produce in his last autumn run before returning with a Vain Stakes ninth, three behind Exceed And Excel colt Jabali who will be ridden by Craig Newitt this weekend.
Other notable HDF McNeil Stakes entries for the weekend include the Robbie Laing-trained Vain Stakes third placed Boomwaa, Lloyd Kennewell’s last start Morphettville winner Deiheros yet to race outside of Adelaide and Peter Moody’s undefeated Fastnet Rock gelding Tan Tat Diamond.
Check out the full HDF McNeil Stakes 2014 nominations and ballot order below, the final field of acceptors due out on Wednesday morning.
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2014 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 30/08/2014
|1||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||1||56.5kg||84|
|2||ZULULAND||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||2||58.5kg||86|
|3||BRAZEN BEAU||Chris Waller||3||58kg||86|
|5||NOSTRADAMUS||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||5||57.5kg||80|
|8||MOONLIGHT HUSSLER||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||8||57.5kg||71|
|9||TAN TAT DIAMOND||Peter G Moody||9||57.5kg||69|
|12||NORDIC EMPIRE||Mick Price||12||56kg||73|
|15||AWESOME ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens||15||56kg||70|
|16||FORGIVE AND FORGET||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||16||56kg||68|
|17||NOVEL DANCER||Shea Eden||17||54kg||70|
|18||ROYAL STANDING||Brent Stanley||18||56kg||64|
|19||CAVEKA||Peter G Moody||19||56kg||63|
|20||BEL SHOW||Henry Dwyer||20=||56kg||–|
|21||EDDY WOULD GO||Todd Balfour||20=||56kg||–|
|22||RONN’S MOSS||Henry Dwyer||20=||56kg||–|