18 talented three-year-old fillies have been nominated for the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday. It is one of eight Group races running on the day, which marks the official kick-off of the autumn carnival.
The Chris Waller-trained Amicus is the headliner of the field after winning the Group 1 1000 Guineas (1600m) at the end of spring.
Amicus has finished in the first three in six of her seven career starts, including all four starts during the spring. After finishing runner-up in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m), the filly earned her spot in the field for the $500,000 feature race two weeks later.
After pushing on to be in the first few, Amicus tracked up the speed before easing out at the turn. She struck the front at 100 metres and drew away to win three-quarters of a length ahead of Traveston Girl.
Waller has also nominated Winx for the Kevin Hayes Stakes, which means he could deliver a dual-pronged attack. However the filly is dually nominated for the Group 2 Light Finger Stakes (1200m) in Sydney, so it all depends on where the trainer chooses to run her.
Winx finished in the first two in all five of her career starts during the spring, including winning the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) by just under three lengths on September 6 – her first black-type race. She then went on to finish runner-up to First Seal in both the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m).
Gerald Ryan and Peter Moody could also be dually represented in the Kevin Hayes Stakes after nominating two sprinters each.
Peggy Jean is Ryan’s best chance at success, having placed in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) last autumn before winning the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) as a juvenile. He has also nominated Lucky Raquie, who has only won one of her starts back in March last year.
Moody will be represented by Flight Stakes second runner-up Thinking Of You and Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) third placer Clover Lane.
However the training duo of David Hayes & Tom Dabernig trump all three trainers with a potential trio of runners. In search of a metropolitan premiership in Melbourne, the trainers have nominated top sprinters Afleet Esprit, Tawteen, and Wawail.
Afleet Esprit has won four of her seven career starts, including both the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m) and Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m). Tawteen has finished in the first three in eight of her nine starts, enjoying minor success in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Red Roses Stakes (1100m), and Wawail has won all four of her starts, including the Listed Twilight Glow Stakes (1400m).
Other notable fillies nominated for the 2015 Kevin Hayes Stakes include Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) winner Eloping, Robert Smerdon’s Fontein Ruby, Boundary, and Oakleigh Girl.
Final fields for the race will be released on Wednesday. Open your Ladbrokes.com.au betting account and place your first online bet to receive a $250 bonus match. Just quote code: BETBONUS.
2015 Kevin Hayes Stakes Nominations
|1||ELOPING Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||1||58.5kg||92|
|2||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||2||58.5kg||98|
|3||FONTEIN RUBY Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Robert Smerdon||3||58.5kg||92|
|4||OAKLEIGH GIRL||Danny J Bougoure||4||58.5kg||86|
|5||AFLEET ESPRIT Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||5||58.5kg||92|
|6||AMICUS Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Chris Waller||6||57.5kg||103|
|8||TAWTEEN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||8||57.5kg||86|
|9||LUCKY RAQUIE||Gerald Ryan||9||57.5kg||78|
|10||SABATINI||Lee & Shannon Hope||10||57.5kg||88|
|11||WAWAIL||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||11||57.5kg||81|
|12||ROYAL SNITZEL||Mick Price||12||56.5kg||78|
|13||THINKING OF YOU (NZ)||Peter G Moody||13||56kg||76|
|15||CLOVER LANE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||15||55kg||70|
|16||INDULGE (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||16||55kg||66|
|17||FACE FORWARD||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||17||55kg||68|
|18||KALABEK Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Brent Stanley||18||55kg||65|