After saddling up four in the race last year, Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller will play another strong hand in the George Main Stakes 2014 field on Saturday having nominated for five from the stables this spring.
Nominations for the feature race in Sydney on the weekend have been extended until 11am on Tuesday after just a dozen milers were entered for the $350,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
The weight-for-age showdown, set to run at Royal Randwick, has a field limit of 16 starters and five of the current 12 nominees are prepared by Waller.
Waller had four in the race last year including the runner-up Royal Descent who crossed a neck away from the Guy Walter-trained winner Streama.
Redoute’s Choice mare Royal Descent is back for another shot in 2014 then, the ATC Oaks winner having run second in her two runs this time in at the track including behind stable mate Hawkspur in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on September 6.
Waller’s former Queensland Derby winning son of Purrealist Hawkspur was the next best over the line for his trainer in last year’s George Main Stakes when two lengths off the winner in fourth.
He won the Chelmsford third-up this time in on a Heavy (9) when seeing the mile for the first time since a fourth to the fellow Waller-trained Sacred Falls in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) back in April and will appreciate the distance again this weekend.
Dual Doncaster Mile champion Sacred Falls is also nominated for the George Main, the O’Reilly stallion having finished fourth in the Chelmsford.
Easy Rocking eight-year-old Bagman and seven-year-old Moriarty then round out Waller’s four entries, the in-form veterans coming off a Chelmsford third and fifth respectively with Waller preparing all six over the line in the race that day.
Outside of Waller’s contingent the other most notable George Main Stakes nominee this year is the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina.
Winner of the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill before an ATC Oaks third to Rising Romance, Savabeel mare Lucia Valentina kicked off her spring campaign with a good win over Tiger Tees in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) on September 6 at Randwick Racecourse.
Also coming off a win are then Bruce Hill’s Gold Coast raider Teronado and the lightly raced Paul Messara-trained Panzer Division.
Redoute’s Choice colt Panzer Division bypassed last weekend’s Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) against his own age and instead takes on the older horses here after a win in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at the start of the month.
Other notable hopes then include Donna Logan’s ATC Oaks winning Kiwi Rising Romance coming off a Tramway fourth and third in that same lead-up Toydini for Team Hawkes.
See below for the current George Main Stakes 2014 nominations with final acceptances closing on Wednesday.
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2014 George Main Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick – 20/09/2014
|2||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||100|
|4||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||105|
|5||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||108|
|6||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||108|
|7||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||85|
|8||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||105|
|9||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||113|
|10||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|
|11||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||90|
|12||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||109|