A classy list of 23 runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington Racecourse, highlighted by several exciting prospects leading into the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Touted as a leading contender before finishing a disappointing 13th in the 2013 edition of the Race That Stops a Nation, trainer Robert Hickmott has nominated Sea Moon for a racing return in the 2014 Bart Cummings.
Securing six wins and four minor places from just 16 competitive starts so far, Sea Moon has not been seen at the races since failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) on March 8th; figuring as his only competitive appearance on track this year.
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of Sir Michael Stoute before transferring to Lloyd Williams’ Macedon Lodge stables and care of Hickmott at the start of 2013, the Beat Hollow entire was unable to figure in either of his first two Australian starts, but burst in contention when finishing second in The Bart Cummings; breaking through for a win in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) in his only other start prior to the Melbourne Cup.
Hickmott and Macedon Lodge are poised to be offered several good chances of success in the 2014 Bart Cummings having also nominated the likes of Foundry, Masked Marvel and Thought Worthy for the key form indicator.
While unable to figure over three starts this time in, Foundry is more than capable of success amongst classy company; finishing second to Telescope in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (2414m) in his native Britain in just his second race start most notably.
Claiming four wins and three minors from just 21 competitive appearances, Masked Marvel secured several notable results over the 2013 Spring Carnival, namely a hard-fought third in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and second in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m), but was unable to figure in either of his major targets; the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.
Debuting to racing under John Gosden in Britain, Thought Worthy has been seen on track in Australian on just three occasions so far and while yet to figure in contention, if offered a great chance of reversing his fortunes in The Bart Cummings.
Also included in nominations for both the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington and Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) in Sydney on Saturday, trainer David Hayes has earmarked the Bart Cummings as a fall-back option for Spillway.
Yet another British staying import, Spillway steadily built to the task over his maiden Australian preparation in autumn, peaking with an impressive win in the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) on April 26th.
Unlucky to finish second by the bob of a head in the Group 1 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up on August 16th, the Rail Link entire ran a credible fourth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 13th, but was somewhat disappointing when seventh in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) most recently on September 20th.
Aiming to secure qualification to the 2014 Caulfield Cup this weekend, a poor racing surface in Sydney may lead to Hayes accepting a position in Victoria for Spillway this weekend.
A final field of 16 plus four emergencies for the 2014 Bart Cummings is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 The Bart Cummings Nominations
|1||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||76|
|2||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney||99|
|3||BACK TO ABILENE||Brett Scott||64|
|5||FOUNDRY (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||99|
|6||IBICENCO (GER)||Peter G Moody||104|
|7||IGGI POP (NZ)||John Sargent||95|
|8||KINGDOMS (NZ)||Brian Smith||99|
|9||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||100|
|10||MARKSMANSHIP (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||95|
|11||MASKED MARVEL (GB)||Robert Hickmott||96|
|12||MASTER’S DEGREE||Steven Lake||76|
|13||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||107|
|14||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||104|
|15||OMINOUS (GB)||Nigel Blackiston||90|
|17||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||110|
|18||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|19||SUDDEN MOMENT||Ron Daniel||62|
|20||THOUGHT WORTHY (USA)||Robert Hickmott||95|
|21||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||98|
|22||WALTZING TO WIN||David Huxtable||73|
|23||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||105|