Defending champion Chautauqua is the headline nomination taken for the Gilgai Stakes 2015 at Flemington Racecourse on Turnbull Stakes Day this Sunday over the long weekend in Melbourne.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Encosta De Lago five-year-old is one of 13 sprinters making up the early entries for the $200,000 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), nominations for the set weights plus penalties clash extended until 10am (AEST) on Tuesday.
Last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Chautauqua backed up from a win in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) to win the lead-up race into the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) back at the track during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
This year he returns to defend his title in the Gilgai Stakes, Chautauqua coming via a different lead-up to 12 months ago.
After a stellar autumn that included a Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes win and All Aged Stakes third in Sydney, he ran first-up at Moonee Valley in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) and beat home Flamberge by one and a half lengths from a wide barrier (10 of 12) with a notable 58.5kg on his back.
Chautauqua is also the pre-field favourite to win this year’s Darley Classic at Flemington in November after his second to Terravista last year.
Runner-up to the sure-to-be favourite for Saturday in the McEwen Stakes last time out, the Peter Moody-trained Group 1 The Goodwood winner in Adelaide Flamberge is also set for a remix in the Gilgai Stakes.
The Exceed And Excel six-year-old is one of four Moody-trained Gilgai hopes this year along with his four-year-old Sebring mare Bring Me The Maid, Royal Rapture and Thermal Current.
Along with Chautauqua the only other last start winner currently nominated for the Gilgai Stakes is the in-form David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Churchill Dancer.
A five-year-old son of Churchill Downs, the aptly-named gelding has won his past two on the trot including his narrow victory over subsequent Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes third placegetter last weekend Under The Louvre in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m).
Now he is looking to repeat the same Bobbie Lewis – Gilgai Stakes double as Chautauqua from last spring when facing off against that same champion in the second leg of the double on the weekend.
Hayes & Dabernig also have Sterling City in the mix, the seven-year-old sprinter out to atone for a ninth in the Bobbie Lewis in the Hong Kong import’s maiden run down under.
Other notable Gilgai Stakes hopes include the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Charlie Boy who comes off a first-up second in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) and John O’Shea’s returning BTC Cup runner-up from the winter Knoydart.
Check out the current Gilgai Stakes 2015 nominations below then head to Ladbrokes.com.au where first time depositing players are rewarded with up to $700 in bonus bets when quoting the code SPRINGBONUS!
2015 Gilgai Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 04/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trianer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||8740x2497x||BRING ME THE MAID||M||4||Peter G Moody||100|
|2||346x5120x2||CHARLIE BOY||G||5||Peter & Paul Snowden||105|
|3||112x1213x1||CHAUTAUQUA||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||114|
|4||0x3041x211||CHURCHILL DANCER||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||100|
|6||1216×06||EARTHLY TIGER||G||5||Wez Hunter||67|
|7||643x2301x2||FLAMBERGE||G||6||Peter G Moody||109|
|9||26341131×5||ROYAL RAPTURE||G||6||Peter G Moody||89|
|10||4125277×00||SCARLET BILLOWS||M||5||Darren Weir||85|
|11||60007560×9||STERLING CITY||G||7||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||108|
|12||536x215x77||THERMAL CURRENT||G||5||Peter G Moody||93|
|13||23x00x0x00||WE’RE GONNA ROCK||G||9||Tony Romeo||92|