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This Saturday at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne it is ‘Finals Day’, one of the meeting’s headline events being the All Victorian Sprint Series 2015.
Worth $150,000 in prize money the Listed 1200m sprint has attracted 15 nominees, the top-rated of which is the Nigel Blackiston-trained local hope Desert Jeuney.
It has been a long time between drinks for the Desert King five-year-old who hasn’t won a race since September of 2013 over 2000m, the multiple Group 1 performer and 2014 Toorak Handicap third placegetter second-up for the season.
After a failed run when dead last (15th) in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last November, Desert Jeuney returned off a spell at Flemington on June 27.
A solid first-up fourth over 1100m crossing under a length off the winner Lonrockstar while carrying 60kg as a 30/1 shot was an excellent start to a new campaign that continues on Saturday.
There are three last start winners among the nominees including the horse who beat Desert Jeuney home in that race, the John Sadler-trained Lonrockstar.
A five-year-old Lonhro gelding, Lonrockstar is yet to win over 1200m but the short distance specialist was strong in the Takeover Target Tribute Handicap last time out.
Also coming off a win are the Darren Weir-trained Red Corner who saluted at the track and distance on June 10 and the in-form Smackdown who has won his past two on the trot at Geelong and Sandown.
Further up the ratings are the likes of Ricky Maund’s veteran seven-year-old General Truce and Hard Romp.
Prepared by the flying Ciaron Maher, who enjoyed the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap – Tattersall’s Tiara double in Queensland recently with ace mare Srikandi, Hard Spun gelding Hard Romp has run top three in his past four starts including two wins the latest of which was over 1100m at Flemington on June 13.
After that good three-quarter length win over Nadeem Lass he returned to run third to Lonrockstar in a race that could prove the formline to follow in the All Victorian Sprint Series Final.
Other notable nominees for the handicap clash include Robbie Griffiths’ consistent stakes winning mare Nadeem Lass who ran second to Lonrockstar last start with a light weight and rising eight-year-old Solsay who ran third first-up over 1200m at Moonee Valley behind Sea Lord on June 20.
Flemington final acceptances for all nine races on the Saturday program including the All Victorian Sprint Series Final close on Wednesday morning and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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2015 All Victorian Sprint Series Final Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 11/07/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2109x108x5||ABOUT SQUARE (NZ)||G||5||Michael Moroney||87|
|3||8x563330x4||DESERT JEUNEY||G||5||Nigel Blackiston||99|
|4||x826626748||FIRST PRINT||M||7||Peter Smith||65|
|5||x567x06029||GENERAL TRUCE||G||7||Ricky Maund||94|
|6||22216×1313||HARD ROMP||G||5||Ciaron Maher||94|
|9||x563313322||NADEEM LASS||M||5||Robbie Griffiths||89|
|10||x5796x0542||NEAREST TO PIN||G||5||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||90|
|11||x177464165||PLAY MASTER||G||6||Peter Smith||88|
|12||9510×40901||RED CORNER||G||5||Darren Weir||80|
|13||0x35054x11||SMACKDOWN (NZ)||G||6||Trent Pennuto||89|
|15||5x1x244037||WRITTEN UP||G||4||George Osborne||84|
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