Chris Waller plays a very strong hand across the table at Royal Randwick this George Main Stakes Day including five Hill Stakes 2014 nominations led by former Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur.
The now five-year-old son of Purrealist is the headline stable mate for Waller entered for Saturday’s $200,000 Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m), the weight-for-age showdown officially attracting 14 nominees.
Also nominated for the $350,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at the meeting, Hawkspur could skip the elite level clash in favour of a run over more ground in the Hill Stakes.
Last start winner of the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at the track on September 6, Hawkspur is heading towards a run in either the Epsom Handicap over a mile or The Metropolitan over the 2400m back at the track on October 4.
The other dually nominated George Main Stakes / Hill Stakes entries for Waller this weekend are then the veteran duo of Clodovil seven-year-old Moriarty and Easy Rocking eight-year-old Bagman.
Winner of the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) back in May, Moriarty has had two fifth place runs this time in most recently to Hawkspur in the Chelmsford, a race Bagman ran a nice third in when beaten under one and a half lengths.
Both dual entries are tipped to run in the Hill Stakes over the Group 1 on the Sydney race card.
Waller’s other Hill Stakes only nominees are then Doomben Cup third placegetter Junoob coming off a sixth in the Chelmsford behind five of his stable mates and Wyong Cup winner from September 5 Multilateral.
Outside of Waller’s Hill Stakes entries are a host of other exciting spring prospects including the David Payne-trained duo of Criterion and Honorius.
Sebring stallion Criterion is a dual Group 1 winner having completed the Rosehill Guineas – ATC Derby double as a three-year-old during the autumn.
He returned with a nice third behind Tiger Tees (1st) and Royal Descent (2nd) in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 23 but was disappointing when seventh behind Waller’s top six in the Chelmsford last time out.
Honorius meanwhile races for the first time since an 11th behind impressive winner Lucia Valentina in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 6.
Also with multiple entries is Team Hawkes with Group 3 winning Pentire gelding Entirely Platinum and Makybe Diva’s three-quarter sister La Amistad.
Also in the mix are the likes of Bruce Hill’s last start Doomben winner Teronado and progressive Aussie Rules gelding Wish Come True for Peter Moody.
See below for the full Hill Stakes 2014 nominations to be cut to a capacity 12 starter final field on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Hill Stakes Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 20/09/2014
|2||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||2||58kg||110|
|3||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||3||59kg||108|
|5||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||4=||59kg||105|
|6||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||6=||59kg||103|
|8||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||6=||59kg||103|
|9||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||9||57kg||100|
|10||WISH COME TRUE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||10||59kg||98|
|11||MULTILATERAL (USA)||Chris Waller||11||59kg||96|
|12||DEANE MARTIN (NZ)||Bruce Wallace||12||59kg||93|
|13||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||13||58kg||90|