Nominations for a host of spring features were taken by Racing Victoria today including those for the Darley Classic 2014 running at Flemington Racecourse on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Emirates Stakes Day feature, held on Saturday November 8, attracted 60 nominations with plenty of star sprinters eyeing a start in this year’s $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
All the headliners one would expect are in the mix including of course the world’s highest rated sprinter Lankan Rupee.
Mick Price’s Redoute’s Choice five-year-old is already a triple Group 1 winner thanks to an outstanding autumn, but was defeated in a surprise loss first-up in the McEwen Stakes.
He gets the chance to atone this weekend at Moonee Valley on Friday night however when jumping the odds-on favourite in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) under the lights.
Upset McEwen Stakes winner Angelic Light will take on Lankan Rupee again in the Moir and also features in the Darley Classic nominations for Cranbourne horseman Robbie Griffiths.
One of the McEwen Stakes quinella’s biggest rivals this Friday and the defending Darley Classic winner then is Robert Heathcote’s Queensland champion Buffering.
The son of Mossman had 17 Group 1 starts, including 10 top three runs, before finally breaking through at elite level in the Manikato Stakes last year.
From there the now seven-year-old went on to post two more elite level victories including the Darley Classic, then registered as the VRC Sprint Classic.
Also back for another shot after a top three run in the race last year then is 2013 third placegetter Moment Of Change for Peter Moody.
Barley A Moment six-year-old Moment Of Change took out the CF Orr Stakes – Futurity Stakes double in the autumn at Caulfield but has been hit and miss since including a dead last when 11th to Dissident in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) last month.
Moody’s other more notable Darley Classic entry this year is then his in-form Group 1 performing mare A Time For Julia last seen running second in the How Now Stakes.
Another well represented trainer with four Darley Classic hopes is then Sydney’s best, Chris Waller.
Waller has nominated for his multiple Group 1 winning Bernardini gelding Boban, three-year-old Brazen Beau who was runner-up in Brisbane JJ Atkins last season, last start Theo Marks runner-up Bull Point previously prepared by Gai Waterhouse and last start Sheraco Stakes winning mare Catkins.
There are plenty of interesting inclusions in this year’s Darley Classic entries too including the likes of Theo Marks winner Cluster for Peter & Paul Snowden as well as John O’Shea’s Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Earthquake.
Exceed And Excel filly Earthquake hasn’t won a race since the Blue Diamond in February having run second in the Golden Slipper, third first-up in the Furious Stakes and third last time out in the Tea Rose Stakes behind First Seal and Winx.
She’s also one of two previous Blue Diamond winners in Darley Classic contention this year along with 2013 winner Miracles Of Life who is now with Peter & Paul Snowden.
The four-year-old Not A Single Doubt mare hasn’t been seen since her 16th when dropping out of the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m), won in an upset by Smokin’ Joey, in Adelaide back in May.
James & Bart Cummings also have an entry with Hallowed Crown, the undefeated Street Sense colt one of the other top three-year-olds in the mix along with Earthquake.
He was last seen scoring a narrow victory in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) on September 13 over the luckless Scissor Kick who is also nominated for the Darley Classic.
Also worth a note are the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained duo of Girl Guide who won the Group 3 How Now Stakes last weekend and recent Cockram Stakes winner Gregers.
Other notable Darley Classic entries include Stradbroke Handicap third placegetter Srikandi, 2013 Golden Slipper winner Overreach and Ken Kelso’s New Zealand hero Bounding.
See below for the full Darley Classic 2014 nominations, to be cut at first acceptance stage on Tuesday October 21.
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2014 Darley Classic Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 08/11/2014
|1||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||102|
|2||AFLEET ESPRIT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||80|
|3||ANGELIC LIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||103|
|4||AOMEN (IRE)||Anthony Cummings||103|
|5||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||106|
|8||BRAZEN BEAU||Chris Waller||88|
|10||BULL POINT||Chris Waller||98|
|11||BURNING PASSION||Anthony Cummings||67|
|13||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||103|
|14||CLUSTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||101|
|15||DEEP FIELD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||75|
|19||ECLAIR BIG BANG (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||89|
|20||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||90|
|21||ESSAY RAIDER||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||99|
|22||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||108|
|23||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||91|
|24||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||104|
|26||GIRL GUIDE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||92|
|27||GREGERS||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|28||HALLOWED CROWN||Bart & James Cummings||105|
|29||HAVANA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|31||IL CAVALLO||Peter G Moody||81|
|32||I’M ALL THE TALK||Gary Portelli||95|
|33||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||118|
|34||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||90|
|35||MIRACLES OF LIFE||Peter & Paul Snowden||103|
|36||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||111|
|37||NOT LISTENIN’TOME||Gary Moore||103|
|38||OFFICE BEARER||Peter G Moody||97|
|40||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||99|
|41||PERON||John P Thompson||96|
|43||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||104|
|44||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||110|
|49||SCISSOR KICK||Paul Messara||100|
|52||SLADE POWER (IRE)||Edward Lynam||114|
|54||TAWTEEN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||75|
|55||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||109|
|57||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||86|
|58||TURQUOISE KING||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||86|
|59||VAIN QUEEN||John Sadler||99|
|60||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||104|