Nominations for the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown Racecourse were taken this morning, with 17 potential stayers declaring for the race.
The 2014 Eclipse Stakes is one of six Group races making up Zipping Classic Day this Saturday, which marks the end of the 2014 spring carnival.
Headlining the nominations is the David Hayes & Tom Daberning-trained Spillway as well as Henry Dwyer’s Sonntag.
The British import Spillway is one of the most experienced horses on the field, already running at the highest level of racing. However after a disappointing spring campaign, he drops down in class for the Eclipse Stakes.
The four-year-old horse began his career in Britain, making his debut in Australia back in March during the Listed Yalumba Golden Mile (1600m). He went on to win the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) before finishing runner-up in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), just a nose off Star Rolling. But he hasn’t placed in any of his four starts since, coming close in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), both of which he finished fourth.
He found the line very strongly last time out, and the 1800 metres of the Eclipse Stakes may be the perfect trip for him.
Sonntag hasn’t finished outside the first three since August last year, winning his last three starts including the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) back in June. He boxed on courageously to grab the win a neck ahead of Pinstripe Lane. His one start this season was in the Listed Sale Cup on October 26, which he won by half a length.
Sonntag is only one of three last start winners featured among the nominations, alongside Michael Moroney’s Saint Or Sinner and Robbie Laing’s Tristam’s Sun.
Saint Or Sinner won the Antler Luggage Handicap (1600m) on Saturday, which means he’ll be one of four horses backing up from Emirates Stakes Day, while Tristam’s Sun won the Kyneton Cup (2000m) on November 5, two lengths clear of the fellow first three finishers.
Hayes & Dabernig lead the nominations with three horses to their name alongside Spillway – Backstedt, Extra Zero, and Jacquinto Bay.
Eight-year-old Extra Zero was second in the Kyneton Cup, which followed three consecutive minor placings including in the Listed Sofitel (1400m) while Jacquinto Bay missed out on a placing in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) by just a shoulder before finishing end of the field in the Listed Premium Stakes (1800m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
Listed Darley Seymour Cup (1600m) winner Bel Thor, Benalla Cup (2046m) runner-up Correggio, consecutive Group One runners Escado and Rhythm To Spare, and Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup Handicap (2200m) winner The Inventor are also notable nominees.
Check out the full list of 2014 Eclipse Stakes nominations below, then open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account to prepare for when the market will open shortly.
2014 Eclipse Stakes Nominations
|1||BACKSTEDT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||92|
|2||BEL THOR||Wez Hunter||95|
|3||BY THE GRACE||Andrew Noblet||75|
|4||CORREGGIO (NZ)||Murray Johnson||90|
|6||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||91|
|7||FAT AL||Peter G Moody||98|
|8||JACQUINOT BAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||96|
|10||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||98|
|11||SAINT OR SINNER (NZ)||Michael Moroney||93|
|13||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||103|
|14||TANAH LOT (NZ)||Chris Hyland||73|
|15||THE INVENTOR||Bevan Laming||90|
|16||TRISTRAM’S SUN (NZ)||Robbie Laing||91|
|17||ZABISCO (NZ)||Darren Weir||91|