Chris Waller plays the strongest hand of any trainer in the 2015 Chelmsford Stakes nominations for this Saturday’s feature race in Sydney, the master horseman entering a dozen from his stable in the weight-for-age showdown at Randwick Racecourse.
Waller has won the past two editions of the $250,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) with his 2013 Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur who is again in the mix shooting for a hat-trick in the early Sydney Spring Racing Carnival clash.
The trainer’s two top picks from his 12-horse contingent are his 2013 ATC Oaks winning mare Royal Descent and this year’s Doncaster Mile champ Kermadec.
A six-year-old daughter of Redoute’s Choice, super consistent Group 1 performer Royal Descent broke a lengthy winning drought first-up on August 22 at Randwick taking out the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) by one and a half lengths.
Kermadec also resumed in the same race crossing two lengths away fifth to his stablemate in his first run since taking out the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in early April.
Waller’s other best Warwick Stakes graduate nominated for a Chelmsford Stakes back-up, a race Waller prepared the first six over the line in 12 months ago, is fourth-placed Beaten Up who ran third to Hartnell in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill in late March.
The other Chelmsford nominees for Waller are Foreteller, I’m Imposing, Junoob, Moriarty, Opinion, Preferment and his Sydney Cup quinella of Grand Marshall (1st) and Who Shot Thebarman (2nd) who both head towards the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington this November.
After Royal Descent (116) the other highest-rated Chelmsford Stakes nominee this year is the Kris Lees-trained German import Protectionist (114) who won last year’s Melbourne Cup when still prepared in Europe.
The Monsun stallion had a four start autumn campaign after his win in the ‘race that stops a nation’, but failed to finish in the money including his seventh behind Waller’s winner in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Protectionist won a subsequent August 24 trial at Newcastle over 1200m though and looks spot on for a first-up win over a distance he has won his only other start at.
Other highly rated Chelmsford Stakes entries this year include the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet and the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell.
French import Pornichet won the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane during the winter before the Vespone stallion resumed with a second to Royal Descent in the Warwick Stakes.
O’Shea’s Authorized gelding Hartnell hasn’t raced since the Sydney Cup where he finished fourth in his first run over that far on the back of two Rosehill wins in March including The BMW over the mile and a half.
The two Godolphin stablemates of Hartnell also nominated for Saturday’s showdown are 20913 Spring Champion Stakes winner Complacent who returned off a nearly two year break running second last (12th) in the Warwick Stakes and the American-bred It’s Somewhat.
See below for the full Chelmsford Stakes 2015 nominations, the final field and barriers out on Wednesday.
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2015 Chelmsford Stakes Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 05/09/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4111×4119||ASTRONOMOS (GB)||H||5||David Vandyke||80|
|2||2x800530x4||BEATEN UP (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||108|
|4||x9698464x7||FORETELLER (GB)||G||9||Chris Waller||108|
|5||11x889431x||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||105|
|6||4x1141x9||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||M||4||John Sargent||100|
|7||1167x2114x||HARTNELL (GB)||G||5||John O’Shea||115|
|9||121x03336x||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||G||10||Chris Waller||104|
|10||73350x19x8||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||G||5||John O’Shea||104|
|11||D70x0084x7||JUNOOB (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||106|
|12||21x43431x5||KERMADEC (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||110|
|13||117x299x53||MESSENE||G||7||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||108|
|14||31x80429x0||MORIARTY (IRE)||G||8||Chris Waller||108|
|15||50160x82Px||OPINION (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||105|
|16||1x951511x2||PORNICHET (FR)||H||5||Gai Waterhouse||112|
|17||27x0556x5x||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||G||10||James Cummings||104|
|18||2421x0628x||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||104|
|19||1141x6857x||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||H||6||Kris Lees||114|
|20||220x7433x1||ROYAL DESCENT||M||6||Chris Waller||116|
|21||44x078160x||TREMEC (NZ)||G||7||John P Thompson||97|
|22||1103x5442x||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||109|