Gai Waterhouse’s returning Group 1 winning mare Amanpour is the highest rated nomination taken for Saturday’s Theo Marks Stakes 2015 as part of the Golden Rose Day action at Rosehill Gardens.
Last seen taking out the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick back in April, five-year-old Northern Meteor mare Amanpour is one 14 early entries for this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m).
Nominations for the quality handicap have been extended until 11am on Tuesday, but of the original nominees Amanpour is the top-rated and has run second in three of her four previous first-up runs.
The next highest rated hopefuls are the Team Hawkes-trained Messene and Chris Waller’s returning Strawberry Boy.
Fifth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up, Lonhro seven-year-old Messene improved last time out running third to Royal Descent in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) back on August 22 and has just his second start at Rosehill if accepted.
Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Racing has also nominated for Fastnet Rock six-year-old Ninth Legion and four-year-old Group 3 winning stallion Nostradamus giving them Three Theo Marks chances.
Strawberry Boy meanwhile was last seen posting back-to-back Brisbane wins during the winter, the veteran boasting a strong first-up record of four wins and a third from seven runs.
Five-time Sydney trainer’s premiership winner Waller also has Heart Testa and Winx in the mix on Saturday.
Heart Testa comes off a first-up fourth when beaten only half a length by Decision Time in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) while this year’s ATC Oaks runner-up- Winx was last seen winning the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben in late May.
She’s set to make her four-year-old debut on the weekend if accepted, the Street Cry mare having won two of her three previous first-up assignments and has the same record at Rosehill where her last run was a fifth to Fenway when two lengths away in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in late April.
Horses with the fitness advantage in the Theo Marks Stakes this year coming off nice lead-up form include the Ron Quinton-trained Dubawi gelding Boss Lane who won two on the trot before a Show County second last start and Clarry Conners’ Foreplay eight-year-old Show County winner Decision Time who ran sixth last weekend in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) over less distance.
Other notable hopes in the mix are Jason Attard’s consistent Hawkesbury Cup winning son of Oratorio Sons Of John and Show County third placed Vashka for Godolphin.
See below for the full Theo Mark Stakes 2015 nominations, the final field and barriers set for release on Wednesday morning.
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2015 Theo Marks Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Racecourse – 12/09/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|2||080x5797x6||AOMEN (IRE)||G||8||Anthony Cummings||100|
|3||6x5044x112||BOSS LANE||G||5||Ron Quinton||96|
|4||x009066416||DECISION TIME||G||8||Clarry Conners||97|
|5||3136x5979x||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||G||7||Noel Mayfield-Smith||108|
|6||31046150×4||HEART TESTA||G||6||Chris Waller||101|
|7||117x299x53||MESSENE||G||7||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||107|
|8||0365236333||NEVER BACK DOWN||G||5||Jim & Greg Lee||61|
|9||34x127202x||NINTH LEGION||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||104|
|10||20x86619x2||NOSTRADAMUS||H||4||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||95|
|11||417412311x||SONS OF JOHN||G||5||Jason Attard||93|
|12||1332x5611x||STRAWBERRY BOY||G||7||Chris Waller||106|