Almalad Tops 2014 Bill Stutt Stakes Nominations

Gai Waterhouse will chase her third consecutive win in the Bill Stutt Stakes 2014 this Friday after nominating for her Group 1 winning three-year-old Almalad in the Moir Stakes Night feature.

Almalad (inside)

Almalad (inside) heads towards the Caulfield Guineas via Saturday's Bill Stutt Stakes 2014. Photo: Steve Hart.

One of the major Moonee Valley support races on Friday evening, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) attracted 15 nominations led by Al Maher gelding Almalad.

A winner of his opening three career starts including t Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) in Brisbane last season he has had two unplaced runs this time in Waterhouse is hoping he atones for this weekend in his Melbourne debut.

She’s after a hat-trick of Bill Stutt wins in as many years too following the success of star colt Pierro (2012) and Divine Calling (2013) who nearly lost on protest to subsequent Cox Plate champ Shamus Award 12 months ago.

Most recently Almalad was seen finishing fourth to the undefeated Hallowed Crown in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney when beaten only 1.6 lengths on September 13.

The step up in distance to a mile for the Bill Stutt then is set to suit as he heads towards a run in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11.

There are a host of races happening across the country for 2014 Caulfield Guineas-bound three-year-olds on the weekend including the Bill Stutt.

In the latest Caulfield Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Almalad pays $11 to win, but he’s not the shortest priced of the Bill Stutt Stakes hopes in those futures markets.

That honour belongs to the current $4.60 Caulfield Guineas favourite Chivalry prepared by former Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mark Kavanagh.

The Street Cry colt won the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 30 before a last start second over 1400m in a Flemington stakes race on September 13 but is tipped to improve over more distance with the Bill Sutt his first look at the mile.

The next best in Caulfield Guineas betting heading towards Friday night’s lead-up is then the Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison-trained Zebulon ($8).

Bred in New Zealand the All American colt has had just the one run this time in when third in the same race Chivalry ran second in.

He has seen 1600m before however when third to Crafty in another Listed Flemington race back in the winter so the distance on the weekend will work in Zebulon’s favour.

Golden Rose runner-up Scissor Kick is then the other most notable Caulfield Guineas hope at $10 featuring in the Bill Stutt Stakes nominations.

Trainer Paul Messara however has confirmed the Redoute’s Choice colt, winner of the Rosebud – Up & Coming Stakes double at Randwick, is more likely to run in Sydney on Saturday in Rosehill’s Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m).

Other notable Bill Stutt Stakes nominees this year then include Robert Hickmott’s Zabeel colt Divan, the John O’Shea-trained Group 1 Champagne Stakes third placed son of Lonhro Kumaon looking to improve on a 10th in the Golden Rose and Peter Moody’s last start Moonee Valley winner over 1500m Caveka.

Check out the full Bill Stutt Stakes 2014 nominations below with final acceptances revealing the field due for release on Wednesday.

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2014 Bill Stutt Stakes Nominations

Moonee Valley Racecourse – 26/09/2014

# Horse Trainer Hcp. Rating
1 ALMALAD Gai Waterhouse 95
2 ATMOSPHERE (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 61
3 AWARD OF MERIT Tony McEvoy 62
4 CAVEKA Peter G Moody 70
5 CHIVALRY Mark Kavanagh 84
6 DIVAN (NZ) Robert Hickmott 65
7 KUMAON John O’Shea 84
8 MIHANY David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 64
9 MOONOVERMANHATTAN Mick Price 72
10 SCISSOR KICK Paul Messara 98
11 SILENT WHISPER Lloyd Kennewell 66
12 STINGRAY John Moloney 73
13 STRATUM STAR Darren Weir 63
14 ZEBULON (NZ) Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison 70
15 ZULULAND David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 84

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