A host of Group races light up the Gold Coast Racecourse for AD Hollindale Stakes Day on Saturday including the Ken Russell Memorial Classic 2015 for the two-year-olds.
Plenty of young hopefuls were nominated for this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Moreton Hire Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) on Monday with the Gold Coast Turf Club (GCTC) taking a bumper 22 early entries for the set weights clash.
The race is the ideal lead-up for juveniles heading north for a Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign targeting the $250,000 Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) on Doomben 10,000 Day in late May and then possibly also the $600,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) back at Doomben Racecourse on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 6.
Along with a host of local Queensland hopes, this year’s Ken Russell Memorial Classic is set to feature a strong contingent of interstate visitors including the Gai Waterhouse-trained Regatta Rebel.
The Redoute’s Choice filly has had just the one start to date when she debuted in Sydney at Randwick on April 6 to finish a brave second just a half-length off Furnaces in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) in the wet.
The Greg Kolivos-owned filly ran her final 600m sectional in a sharp 38.3 seconds and her last 200m in a blistering 11.3 seconds, brilliant times for a two-year-old on those track conditions giving her credit leading into her second run.
From Brisbane, the Liam Birchley-trained Blueberry Hill is another ace filly nominated for the Ken Russell with the daughter of Myboycharlie looking to retain her undefeated status.
She has had two starts for two wins, the first over 1050m at Doomben in late February before her all-too-easy three and a half length victory over Boys From The Bush at the Sunshine Coast on April 5 in a QTIS 2YO Handicap over 1200m run on a Heavy (10) mud track.
Third in that same race, the Mick Mair-trained Sunshine Coast local The Wildman franked the form when backing up 10 days later to win over 1300m at his home track by the same big margin (3.5 lengths) and is set for a rematch in the Ken Russell with Blueberry Hill.
Along with the Waterhouse-trained filly other noteworthy visitors entered for the Queensland showdown including the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Denman filly Denpurr, Clarry Conners’ Look To The Stars coming off a Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) fifth when under a length off the winner at Rosehill in mid-March and the John O’Shea-trained Sampeah.
Exceed And Excel colt Sampeah was eighth to Pride Of Dubai in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) earlier this autumn before a last start third to Jameka in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 14.
Other notable Ken Russell Memorial Stakes nominees include last start Grafton winner Capricious Spirit, Ben Currie’s Jet Spur colt Jam Toast coming off a 900m Gold Coast win from April 11, Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic fourth placed Madotti, the Stuart Kendrick-trained Reward For Effort colt Montana Star who has won two of his four starts to date and Wicked Intent.
Wicked Style colt Wicked Intent has had five starts for a trio of wins so far for champion Queensland jockey-turned trainer Chris Munce.
He kicked off his career with a Gold Coast win last spring followed by back-to-back Doomben wins in the summer including the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1050m).
From there it was back to the Gold Coast for the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) where Wicked Intent ran second before a credible sixth last time out on January 10 in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m).
See below for the full Ken Russell Memorial Classic 2015 nominations, the field due out on Wednesday so stay tuned.
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2015 Ken Russell Memorial Classic Nominations
Gold Coast Racecourse – 25/04/2015
|1||ARROGANT BOY||Gillian Heinrich|
|2||BIG TREE||Peter Balzen|
|3||BLUEBERRY HILL||Liam Birchley|
|4||CAPRICIOUS SPIRIT||Morgan Butler|
|5||DENPURR||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|6||IT’S VEGAS BABY||Brad Herne|
|7||JAM TOAST||Ben Currie|
|8||LIKE A RULER||Danny J Bougoure|
|9||LOOK TO THE STARS||Clarry Conners|
|11||MEET GEORGE JETSON||Jason McLachlan|
|12||MILITARY MISS||Gillian Heinrich|
|13||MONTANA STAR||Stuart Kendrick|
|14||ONE MORE MAGIC||Kim Craft|
|15||REDSSON||Bruce W Hill|
|16||REGATTA REBEL||Gai Waterhouse|
|18||ST REMY||Noel Doyle|
|19||THE WILDMAN||Mick Mair|
|22||WICKED INTENT||Chris Munce|