Last year’s winning horseman Chris Waller dominates the Hill Stakes 2015 nominations in Sydney this weekend with a bumper 11 early entries for the Royal Randwick clash he took out 12 months ago.
Waller won the $200,000 Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with Junoob who is one of the big contingent for the state’s top trainer to go back-to-back in the George Main Stakes Day support act.
Junoob, if accepted, will be far from Waller’s best chance in the weight-for-age feature however not having won since his success in the same race 12 months ago.
Among his better 2015 hopefuls are the likes of his Sydney Cup quinella from the autumn Grand Marshal (1st) and Who Shot Thebarman (2nd) as well as in-form six-year-old Beyond Thankful.
Whipper gelding Beyond Thankful has won three of his past four starts going back to late July including at Wyong on September 4 in the Listed Wyong Cup (2080m).
There are five other last start winners nominated for the Hill Stakes on the weekend including Astronomos who is undefeated at Royal Randwick, Gai Waterhouse’s returning Grafton Cup champ Bonfire, and the John O’Shea-trained duo of Complacent and Magic Hurricane.
Winner of the 2013 Spring Champion Stakes and runner-up in that year’s Victoria Derby as a three-year-old, Godolphin’s now five-year-old Authorized stallion Complacent has had two runs when returning to racing this season.
The first was a second last when 12th to Royal Descent in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 22 before he thrived second-up over more distance to beat home Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec (2nd) and his last start conqueror Royal Descent (3rd) in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
His stablemate Magic Hurricane meanwhile won the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill on August 29 and is also nominated for Saturday’s feature race – the $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) also won last year by Waller with Sacred Falls.
Along with Bonfire, Waterhouse has also nominated for Bohemian Lily after her first win since the Group 2 The Roses (2020m) in Brisbane back in May.
Other notable hopes among the bumper 24 Hill Stakes nominations are the likes of Jason Coyle’s Wyong Cup second placed mare Just As Cosmic, the Ciaron Maher-trained Kapour who was second in the Premier’s Cup to Magic Hurricane late last month and the now Kris Lees-trained German import Protectionist who hasn’t won a race since the Melbourne Cup over the two miles last November.
Protectionist is also a dual nominee on the Sydney race card for Saturday in both the Hill Stakes and George Main.
See below for the full Hill Stakes 2015 nominations, final acceptances closing on Wednesday morning.
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2015 Hill Stakes Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 19/09/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4111×41191||ASTRONOMOS (GB)||H||5||David Vandyke||85|
|2||x800530x48||BEATEN UP (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||107|
|3||1×18821141||BEYOND THANKFUL (IRE)||G||6||Chris Waller||103|
|4||154x2121x6||BOHEMIAN LILY (NZ)||M||4||Gai Waterhouse||86|
|5||x2237x421x||BONFIRE (GB)||G||7||Gai Waterhouse||104|
|6||134321x6x1||CHANCE TO DANCE (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||100|
|8||9698464×79||FORETELLER (GB)||G||9||Chris Waller||106|
|9||3311x6x0x0||GALLANTE (IRE)||H||5||Robert Hickmott||106|
|10||1x889431x0||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||106|
|12||21x03336x9||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||G||10||Chris Waller||104|
|13||70x0084x75||JUNOOB (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||106|
|14||x063373622||JUST AS COSMIC||M||6||Jason Coyle||84|
|15||4x00x86123||KAPOUR (IRE)||G||6||Ciaron Maher||96|
|16||13955×1431||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||G||6||John O’Shea||95|
|17||1x80429x00||MORIARTY (IRE)||G||8||Chris Waller||107|
|19||0160x82Px0||OPINION (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||106|
|20||7x0556x5x0||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||G||10||James Cummings||104|
|21||421x0628x0||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||104|
|22||141x6857x0||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||H||6||Kris Lees||114|
|23||4x078160x0||TREMEC (NZ)||G||7||John P Thompson||97|
|24||103x5442x7||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||109|