Big race specialist Glen Boss will miss his chance of securing a third win in the 2015 George Main Stakes with suspension ruling him out of the ride aboard the Chris Waller-trained early favourite for Saturday Kermadec.
Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec is currently riderless for the weight-for-age $500,000 Group 1 Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes (1600m) over the Royal Randwick mile this weekend after Boss last his appeal against a suspension on Tuesday.
Boss has ridden two previous George Main Stakes winners over the years with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Juggler (1996) and Racing To Win (2006) a decade later for John O’Shea.
Sydney’s premier trainer Waller also boasts two George Main Stakes trophies from the past three years preparing Shoot Out (2012) and last year’s champion Sacred Falls (2014) who improved on a fourth the run before in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes to salute for the punters.
With Boss unable to take the mount on Kermadec, the horse’s owner Neville Morgan told Radio TAB they would replace him with a local rider announced on Wednesday.
Waller has a total of four George Main nominees this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with pre-field favourite Kermadec joined by Moriarty, Flamingo Star and his Group 1 winning mare Royal Descent who is second pick for the win at the bookies.
Winner of the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) first-up on August 22, Redoute’s Choice six-year-old Royal Descent comes via this year’s Chelmsford over the same track and distance as Saturday’s Group 1.
The traditional George Main Stakes lead-up was won by Complacent, who won’t shoot for the double, with Waller’s classy stablemates Kermadec (2nd) and Royal Descent (3rd) finishing off the trifecta.
The other headline hopefuls in the mix this year are the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina followed by Waterhouse’s Doomben Cup winning French import Pornichet.
Dual Group 1 winner Lucia Valentina is a five-year-old Savabeel mare out to break a notable drought going back to her Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) win at Flemington last October.
She is second-up on the weekend coming off a fast-finishing sixth to Hooked, who is also set to back up in the George Main this Saturday for trainer John Thompson, in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) from September 5.
Lucia Valentina has had four previous second-up runs but failed to run top three in any of them.
Waterhouse’s best hope of a fifth George Main win to add to her quartet of winners in the classic is Monsun stallion Pornichet, the six-year-old out to atone for a first-up 13th in the Tramway when beating home just one other runner.
Waterhouse’s previous George Main Stakes winners are the aforementioned Juggler (1996), Grand Armee (2004), Mr Celebrity (2005) and most recently her star mare More Joyous (2010).
Thompson’s Tramway Stakes winning Casino Prince stallion Hooked is also nominated for Friday’s $150,000 Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) on Newcastle Gold Cup Day but is more likely to accept for the Group 1 the next day.
Since 1983 four George Main Stakes winners had their final lead-up in the Tramway, most recently Sincero (2011) who completed the double four years ago.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the 2015 George Main Stakes final field and barriers out later today.
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