15 top sprinters were nominated for the 2014 Premiere Stakes today, one of the key support races at Royal Randwick’s Epsom Handicap Day on Saturday, October 4.
Nominations for this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) have been extended until 11:00 AM Tuesday after just 15 early entries were drawn – down five from last year.
There were plenty of top-rated nominees announced for the weight-for-age feature today, including the New Zealand talent Tiger Tees – sure to be favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au when the market opens.
The Joseph Pride-trained gelding headlines the field after producing three solid spring sprints, which included back-to-back Group race wins in August.
The seven-year-old began his 2014 spring racing season with a win after taking out the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on August 9 and backed it up a fortnight later with a step up in class for the Group 2 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, which he won by over a length.
He returned to Randwick Racecourse in September for the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m), for which he looked the winner until a burst from Lucia Valentia sent him into second place.
Tiger Tees will run over the same course but go down 200m for the 2014 Premiere Stakes, a distance he’s proven successful at.
Pride also nominated Rain Affair for the Premiere, who finished with a third placing his last time out in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) last Friday.
Sydney’s top trainer Chris Waller returns to the action with three nominations, after taking out back-to-back Premiere Stakes wins in 2012 (Red Tracer) and 2013 (Arinosa).
Waller will vie for a third straight win with his three nominees led by Listed Razorsharp Stakes (1150m) and Starlight Stakes (1100m) second Heart Testa first up after an eight month break.
Velrosso and Whittington are also nominated for Waller, but neither has had much success this year – failing to place in any of their competitive starts.
Another highlight of the Premier nominations was the John O’Shea-trained Generalife, who won his last three out but has not been seen yet in the spring (except for barrier trials).
The five-year-old Godolphin gelding won three Rosehill races including a Handicap, Listed Civic Stakes (1350m), and Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) in June/July and is due to be Tiger Tees biggest competition leading into Saturday.
Other notable 2014 Premiere Stakes nominations include Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) winner Famous Seamus and 2012 Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) winner Sincero.
See below for the full 2014 Premiere Stakes nominations and check back on Wednesday for the final field announcement.
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2014 Premiere Stakes Nominations
|1||CHARLIE BOY||Gerald Ryan||95|
|2||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||109|
|3||FIRE THUNDERBOLT||Diane Poidevin-Laine||84|
|5||HEART TESTA||Chris Waller||97|
|6||I’M ALL THE TALK||Gary Portelli||96|
|7||I’VE GOT THE LOOKS||Peter & Paul Snowden||90|
|8||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||105|
|9||SCORPIO QUEEN||Kris Lees||92|
|11||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||112|
|12||TIME FOR WAR||Gerald Ryan||88|
|15||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||95|