Chris Waller’s Thousand Guineas winning Amicus heads the strong nominations for the Angus Armanasco Stakes 2015 at Caulfield Racecourse this Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
One of the key support races on the Melbourne program for Saturday, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1200m) drew 15 three-year-old fillies at nomination stage on Monday.
Included in the early entries is Waller’s Fastnet Rock filly Amicus who won the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield over the mile during the spring.
She returned to racing in Sydney in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) a fortnight back, but returns to Melbourne for this at a track she has a good record of a win and two seconds from three starts at.
Amicus has also been over 1200m twice before for two good seconds, so while her preferred distance is a little longer, she should still be competitive second-up in Victoria over these metres.
Two of the top last start winners in the Angus Armanasco mix this year with the undefeated Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Matilija who has won both of her starts over 1000m at Moonee Valley this month, and the Lee & Shannon Hope-trained Sabatini.
Street Cry filly Sabatini won the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) here back in August defeating Royal Snitzel and ran a brave third when under a length off Amicus in the Thousand Guineas to finish off her spring.
She then returned and won first-up over this track and distance to defeat Royal Snitzel again, this time by three-quarters of a length in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m).
Royal Snitzel is absent from the Angus Armanasco Stakes nominations but Kevin Hayes Stakes third placegetter Fontein Ruby is entered, the Turffontein filly out to turn the tables on her last start conqueror Sabatini.
Prepared by Robert Smerdon, who saddles up fellow Turffontein filly Fontiton as race favourite from barrier one in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), Fontein Ruby is a multiple Group 1 winner looking to get back to her best form.
She won the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) and the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) last October before her sixth in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and dead last when beaten 11 lengths by Set Square in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on Derby Day.
Another headline nominee is the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Lonhro filly Wawail on the short back-up.
Just last Saturday the previously undefeated young gun suffered her first defeat when going down as the beaten odds-on favourite running third behind Sweet And Speedy and Set Square in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) at Caulfield.
She will be out for atonement on the seven day turn around then looking to win back the love of the punters if accepted for the Angus Armanasco.
Other notable hopes include the flying Kris Lees-trained Marple Miss after her fourth straight win, Peter Moody’s Group 1 Flight Stakes third placegetter Thinking Of You coming off a sixth in the Kevin Hayes Stakes and undefeated Northern Meteor filly Bottle Of Smoke.
See below for the full Angus Armanasco Stakes 2015 nominations, the final field for which is released on Wednesday.
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2015 Angus Armanasco Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 28/02/2015
|1||FONTEIN RUBY||Robert Smerdon||1||58.5kg||92|
|3||SABATINI||Lee & Shannon Hope||3||57.5kg||92|
|4||WAWAIL||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||4||56.5kg||81|
|5||MARPLE MISS||Kris Lees||5||55.5kg||78|
|6||THINKING OF YOU (NZ)||Peter G Moody||6||55kg||76|
|10||MATILIJA||Lee & Anthony Freedman||10||55kg||71|
|11||BOTTLE OF SMOKE||Mick Price||11||55kg||68|
|13||FANTASY EIGHT||Wendy Kelly||13||55kg||62|
|14||LETTER FROM PARIS||Jason Warren||14||55kg||62|
|15||FINDA FITTER FILLY||John & Chris Ledger||15||55kg||63|