Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller, fresh off a Group 1 double across two states last weekend, plays another strong hand at Rosehill Gardens this weekend with five of the 11 nominees for the Colin Stephen Quality 2014.
The handicap clash is one of five Group status races on the Sydney card on Saturday, the $125,000 Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality Handicap (2400m) a nice lead-up for staying types looking for a possible Group 1 start this spring.
The major race the better Colin Stephen entries will be chasing is the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 4.
As mentioned, four-time Sydney premiership winning trainer Waller has five early entries for the Colin Stephen with Morairty, Mulaquen, Multilateral, Secessio and Trade Commissioner.
The best fancied of Waller’s contingent in the futures The Metropolitan odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, where punters will get a $500 bonus match bet for a short time when quoting the code SPRINGBONUS, is Morairty.
The veteran Clodovil seven-year-old has had three runs this time in, most recently failing to beat home any of his rivals when sixth behind Junoob in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) last Saturday.
Winner of the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) and second to Floria in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) last season, Waller and the bookies are confident Morairty will improve on his Hill Stakes effort when getting up over the mile and a half this weekend.
Multilateral is Waller’s other major The Metropolitan player running on Saturday.
The Mizzen Mast import won the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m) two back before a luckless seventh to Disclaimer in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) on September 18.
Stable mates Mulaquen and Secessio also come off good lead-up runs with the former wining over 2500m at Moonee Valley three weeks ago and Secessio having run third in the Wyong Cup.
Newcastle Cup winner Disclaimer meanwhile is also in the mix then for both Saturday’s Colin Stephen Quality and The Metropolitan Handicap.
The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Dansili gelding was fifth in the Wyong Cup before improving over more distance last time out, distance he should appreciate again this weekend.
Disclaimer currently pays $17 for The Metropolitan, a price sure to shorten if he can upset Moriarty and co. this weekend.
There’s a chance Team Snowden won’t accept however, with connections to study the Colin Stephen Quality weights before making a final decision.
Other notable The Metropolitan nominees in the mix on the weekend include Bjorn Baker’s O’Reilly gelding Celtic Prince who was runner-up behind the now Waller-trained Who Shot Thebarman in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) back in March and New Zealand visitor Deane Martin coming off a third behind He’s Your Man, also prepared by Waller, in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) from September 13.
Another Newcastle Cup graduate looking to turn the tables on Disclaimer is then Travolta for Gai Waterhouse, the six-year-old having finished two lengths away fourth.
See below for the current Colin Stephen Quality Handicap 2014 nominations, final acceptances closing on Wednesday with the field to be published right here at Races.com.au.
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2014 Colin Stephen Quality Handicap Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 27/09/2014
|1||CELTIC PRINCE (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||94|
|2||DEANE MARTIN (NZ)||Bruce Wallace||93|
|3||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||98|
|5||IGGI POP (NZ)||John Sargent||93|
|6||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||107|
|7||MULAQEN (GB)||Chris Waller||92|
|8||MULTILATERAL (USA)||Chris Waller||96|
|9||SECESSIO (GB)||Chris Waller||98|
|10||TRADE COMMISSIONER (IRE)||Chris Waller||93|
|11||TRAVOLTA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||101|