Henry Dwyer’s last start Flemington winner Sonntag is the top-rated and weighted of the Andrew Ramsden Stakes 2015 nominations taken for the two mile clash in Melbourne this weekend.
There are a total of 18 stayers making up the early entries for this year’s $200,000 Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m), Flemington’s other two mile showdown one of two black types on the program for Saturday.
Sitting top of the ballot and weights for the handicap clash with a hefty 60kg allocation is Teofilo four-year-old Sonntag who took out a 2800m handicap at the track on May 9 with 57.5kg on his back.
He’s yet to step up over the 3200m but the winning form over 2800m bodes well leading into Saturday’s showdown, which was won 12 months ago by Unchain My Heart.
Last year’s Andrew Ramsden Stakes runner-up Vatuvei is nominated for the feature race again this weekend, Peter Moody’s now six-year-old son of Reset allocated the 54kg minimum.
His form has been off this time in however including at Warrnambool in a hurdle race over the 3200m on May 5 when he lost his rider Tom Ryan.
Moody has also nominated for Ancient King (54.5kg), the Irish import also in pretty poor form of late including a last start ninth to Sonntag in the 2800m lead-up at Flemington.
The next best over the line in that same race was the Bryce Stanaway-trained Crafty Cruiser, the Good Journey seven-year-old nominated to back-up in a rematch this weekend.
Crafty Cruiser was beaten only half a length last start but goes up from 56kg to 58kg if accepted into the Andrew Ramsden Stakes where he’ll be chasing his first win since backing up from his Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) success at Flemington on March 7 with another win at the track over 2500m on April 11.
Following Sonntag in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes nominations and weights meanwhile are the likes of the now Mick Cerchi-trained Galileo eight-year-old Tanby (59kg) and Shoreham (58kg).
Tanby won the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) over this distance back in early March and gets back up over the distance here on the back of a sixth to Sonntag making him a livewire chance to add to his $1.09 million in prize money.
Saab Hasan’s Reset gelding Shoreham meanwhile was runner-up behind Martinvast over 2600m here back on Anzac Day and was last seen finishing a credible fifth in the mud behind Tall Ship in the Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) on May 7.
Also coming off nice lead-up form include the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Chilean import Sabor A Triunfo, Jileks Spur coming off jumps form in Melbourne and Warrnambool Cup third placed mare Lucciola.
A six-year-old daughter of Verglas, Lucciola won the Stony Creek Cup over 2100m in March before her third in the Pakenham Cup and Warrnambool Cup.
Prepared at Mornington by David & Coral Feek, the mare is in her final season of racing and there are concerns for Saturday and how she will handle the two miles.
“She’ll go to the Andrew Ramsden. The other race is too tough,” Feek told AAP.
“I still maintain her ultimate trip is 2000m but based on the nominations we’ll go to the Andrew Ramsden.
“I hope I’m proven wrong about the distance and with that in mind we’ll probably ride her a bit more quietly.”
See below for the full Andrew Ramsden Stakes 2015 nominations, the final field and barriers out on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2015 Andrew Ramsden Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 23/05/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|4||0637201142||CRAFTY CRUISER||G||7||Bryce Stanaway||4||58kg||95|
|5||374023×876||LA AMISTAD||M||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||5||55.5kg||94|
|6||2170×60434||SABOR A TRIUNFO (CHI)||M||5||Peter & Paul Snowden||6||54kg||91|
|7||x80075x009||ANCIENT KING (IRE)||G||5||Peter G Moody||7||54.5kg||88|
|8||32243×9005||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||G||6||Leon & Troy Corstens||8||54.5kg||88|
|9||0547458133||LUCCIOLA (IRE)||M||6||David & Coral Feek||9||54kg||86|
|10||9523x0577L||VATUVEI||G||6||Peter G Moody||10||54kg||85|
|11||x004721112||JILEKS SPUR||G||6||Ciaron Maher||11||54kg||82|
|12||x072x06642||ARCH FIRE (USA)||G||7||Robert Smerdon||12||54kg||82|
|13||21×3572161||THUBIAAN (USA)||G||7||Eric Musgrove||13||54kg||74|
|16||0880122823||SAVVY HENRY (NZ)||G||5||Leon & Troy Corstens||16||54kg||68|
|17||323×214203||PRIOR (NZ)||G||6||Todd Balfour||17||54kg||62|
|18||9615555483||GOLD A PLENTY||G||4||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||18||54kg||57|