A talented field of 17 runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
A standout performer through the 2014 Autumn Carnival, trainer David Payne has included Criterion in nominations for the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes.
Contesting an impressive record of five wins and as many minor places from just 17 competitive race starts so far, Criterion was unlucky not to break through for a race win through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival despite a number of impressive performances; finishing second in both the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) most notably.
Returning in 2014 in typically strong form, the Sebring entire finished fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) first-up and second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) just two weeks later, and while appearing to be out of sorts when finishing a disappointing eighth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th, responded in the best way possible when winning both the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) back-to-back.
Returning to racing for third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 23rd, Criterion has been confirmed to target the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) this time in, and is a great chance of returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes.
Also nominated for an appearance in the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes is 2013 Crown Oaks champion Kirramosa.
Stamping her claims as one to watch when winning the Fire N Ice Refridgeration Maiden (1200m) and finishing fourth in the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in her native New Zealand on debut in the 2013 autumn, Kirramosa also performed to a particularly high standard over the 2013 spring season upon arriving in Australia.
Running on for fourth in a minor over 1200m first-up, the Alamosa mare won the Macka’s Sand and Soil Supplies CL1 (1200m) on September 18th and continued to build in form and class on her way to back-to-back victories in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m).
Remaining in the paddock for the course of the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Kirramosa returned for a credible sixth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) on August 9th and is sure to relish the step-up in distance for the Chelmsford Stakes.
Returned to racing in exceptional form this time in, talented Team Hawkes-trained runner Entirely Platinum has been nominated for a second-up appearance in the Chelmsford Stakes.
A standout performer of his in-form stable through autumn, Entirely Platinum won each of his first three starts, including the Group 3 Skyline Stakes (1900m) on March 22nd before running on for fourth in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Open (2000m) on Golden Slipper day.
Charging home to comfortably beat a talented field to the line in the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap (1400m) first-up on August 16th, the Chelmsford Stakes is set to figure as the Pentire gelding’s first attempt at Group 2 level, but offers a great chance of maiden success.
Trainer Chris Waller is poised to dominate the final field for the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes having nominated a total of eight of his stable stars, highlighted by the likes of Royal Descent and Sacred Falls.
Winner of the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), Royal Descent was a notable performer for Waller through autumn; finishing just outside the places in both the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) and Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) upon returning to racing before finishing a close second to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) most notably on April 12th.
Also unlucky to finish just outside the places in both the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in his first two starts this year, Sacred Falls displayed a keen turn of foot in the final straight to successfully defend his 2013 victory in the Doncaster Mile; returning to the paddock after finishing second in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Chelmsford Stakes Nominations
|2||CANNY BALLAD||Joseph Pride||92|
|3||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||110|
|4||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||103|
|6||HOOKED||John P Thompson||96|
|7||IGGI POP (NZ)||John Sargent||93|
|8||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||105|
|9||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||102|
|10||KITTEN ON THE RUN (USA)||Peter G Moody||92|
|11||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||109|
|12||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||104|
|13||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||108|
|14||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||Chris Waller||100|
|15||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||111|
|16||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|
|17||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||106|