The final day of the 2014 spring racing carnival is this Saturday at Sandown Racecourse, with nine black-type races including the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m).
Nominations for the race were taken Monday morning, with 14 three-year-olds set to tackle the mile. This is the same number as last year but because it is shy of the 16 plus four emergencies field limit, nominations have been extended until 10:00 (AEDT) Tuesday morning.
Headlining the nominations is the Darren Weir-trained Stratum Star, who has finished first three in all six of his last starts. The colt won back-to-back listed races in October, taking out the Yellowglen Vintage Stakes (1400m) and Crown Lager Stakes (1400m), before finishing a close second in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) last time out on November 1.
Stratum Star got trapped a little wide but was right there punching the breeze all the way. He tried so hard right until the line, missing out on the win to Kermadec by just a neck.
Other top horses that feature among the nominations include the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Zululand and Tom Hughes’ Chill Party.
Zululand has just one win to his name after winning the Group 2 Henry Bucks Sires’ Produce (1400m) in March. However, with eight starts since then the colt has only finished in the first three once – the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
His spring campaign has been more miss than hit with bottom of the field finishes in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m). He was sixth in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) last time out after failing to run the trip out. The mile of the 2014 Sandown Guineas will suit him much more.
Chill Party is one of the more lightly-raced horses nominated for the race, with just six career starts to his name. However the colt is in-form following back-to-back wins in October before finishing a close second in the Listed TV Stakes (1800m) on Crown Oaks Day.
There are three last start winners featured among the nominations – Berisha, Lord Aspen, and Rekindled Power.
The Murray Johnson-trained Berisha won the Maiden Plate over 1200m at Kyneton Park Racecourse last Wednesday, while Paul Messara’s Rekindled Power took out the Bendigo RSL 3YO Maiden Plate on October 29.
The Mick Huxtable-trained Lord Aspen has won all four of his career starts, as well as three barrier trials, though the Sandown Guineas will be his first black-type race.
The gelding won the Adelaide Galvanising Handicap (1200m) first up this season before taking out the Master Builders Handicap (1400m) and Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Check out the full list of 2014 Sandown Guineas nominations below.
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2014 Sandown Guineas Nominations
|1||BERISHA Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Murray Johnson||62|
|3||CHILL PARTY||Tom Hughes||70|
|4||DUCAL CASTLE Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Peter G Moody||68|
|6||HEY CHARLIE||Frankie Stockdale||58|
|7||LORD ASPEN||Mick Huxtable||77|
|8||MOTEL MEMORIES||Ken Keys||57|
|9||REKINDLED POWER||Paul Messara||64|
|11||STAVIVA Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Matt Laurie||68|
|12||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||86|
|13||ULMANN||Peter G Moody||65|
|14||ZULULAND||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||82|