This Friday nights at Moonee Valley Racecourse’s Moir Stakes Night the feature race for stayers is the JRA Cup 2015 that on Monday attracted a bumper 28 nominations for the handicap clash.
Running as Race 7 on the line-up, this year’s $200,000 Group 3 The Cup Club JRA Cup (2040m) will feature a field of stayers heading towards some of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors including possibly the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2040m) on October 17 or the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) a fortnight later at the same track and distance as Friday night’s clash.
Last year’s JRA Cup winner The Cleaner (2014) won the race before a ninth in the Cox Plate and a third the next run at Flemington in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Cleaner came off a Group 2 win the run before in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes and this season the most notable last start winner nominated for the JRA Cup is the Terry & Karina O’Sullivan-trained Magnapal.
The six-year-old son of Magnus has won his past three on the trot including the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 19 in a brave effort over The United States on way to the Caulfield Cup that he pays $51 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win.
Runner-up in the Naturalism, which offered a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner, by a narrow margin was the Robert Hickmott-trained import The United States who is also nominated to back-up in the JRA Cup this year.
The Galileo stallion won at Moonee Valley over 1500m on August 22 before his two recent second place efforts and will go up from 54kg last start to 55.5kg under the handicap conditions of Friday’s race if accepted.
Hickmott has a total of five JRA Cup nominees this season with his other hopes being the 59kg top weight Gallante, last start Adelaide stakes winner Amralah who has winning form up to 2400m, Observational who has had just two runs down under to date and Wexford Town coming off a 2500m win at Morphettville from September 19 carrying 60kg.
Other notable horses who won their lead-up runs are the John Sadler-trained Digitalism who took out a race at this track and distance four weeks back and the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Velox.
Hayes & Dabernig have also nominated for veteran nine-year-old Extra Zero who was runner-up in the Australia Cup in mid-March over 2000m in Group 1 company, Almoonqith who won’t accept with The Metropolitan in Sydney on Saturday the preferred option and Bold Sniper who ran fourth in the Naturalism.
Gallopers who are high up the JRA Cup weights this year include the Tony McEvoy-trained Australian Guineas runner-up from the autumn Alpine Eagle who is out to improve on a close sixth when beaten under a length in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last start, last November’s Sandown Classic third placed Prince Of Penzance who also won the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) that campaign for Darren Weir giving him an undefeated Moonee Valley record and the James Cummings-trained 10-year-old Precedence who are all allocated 58.5kg.
Along with Alpine Eagle, McEvoy also has Big Memory (57.5kg) in the mix who comes off a first-up fourth to subsequent Underwood Stakes winner Mourinho in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) from mid-August.
The most notable mare in the JRA Cup nominations meanwhile is the Ciaron Maher-trained Set Square (56kg), last year’s Crown Oaks winner having just her 10th career run next time out.
Other noteworthy hopes include Robert Smerdon’s Naturalism Stakes third placegetter Genuine Lad, the Nigel Blackiston-trained Desert Jeuney who has run third in both his previous runs at the track and Kingmambo wight-year-old Our Voodoo Prince.
Check out the full JRA Cup 2015 nominations below, all the fields for Friday night’s feature meet at the Valley due for release on Wednesday.
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2015 JRA Cup Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 02/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||311x6x0x00||GALLANTE (IRE)||H||5||Robert Hickmott||1||59kg||105|
|2||x3x1112x26||ALPINE EAGLE||H||4||Tony McEvoy||2||58.5kg||104|
|3||8782123×85||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||G||6||Darren Weir||3||58.5kg||104|
|4||x0556x5x00||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||G||10||James Cummings||4||58.5kg||104|
|5||111x230x25||SET SQUARE||M||4||Ciaron Maher||5||56kg||103|
|6||36211x0x01||AMRALAH (IRE)||H||6||Robert Hickmott||6||58kg||103|
|7||23x43028x4||BIG MEMORY (FR)||G||6||Tony McEvoy||7||57.5kg||102|
|8||227228×254||EXTRA ZERO||G||9||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||8||57.5kg||102|
|9||842494×111||MAGNAPAL||G||6||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||9||57kg||101|
|10||015416×506||ALMOONQITH (USA)||H||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||10||57kg||101|
|12||x21x67x1x0||OBSERVATIONAL (GB)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||12||55.5kg||98|
|13||x4x3x0x122||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||H||6||Robert Hickmott||13||55.5kg||98|
|14||3322211×03||GENUINE LAD||G||5||Robert Smerdon||14||55kg||97|
|15||3330×48504||DESERT JEUNEY||G||6||Nigel Blackiston||15||55kg||97|
|16||7x32303x84||BOLD SNIPER (GB)||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||16||54.5kg||96|
|17||2x0535x868||THUNDER LADY (NZ)||M||4||John Sargent||17||54kg||95|
|18||2870325714||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||G||8||Darren Weir||18||54kg||93|
|20||3210x0x060||RUSCELLO (IRE)||G||7||Archie Alexander||20||54kg||91|
|21||360×053397||DIAMETRIC (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||21||54kg||91|
|22||343x034x30||AWESOME ROCK||H||4||Leon & Troy Corstens||22||54kg||90|
|23||13x34441x6||DE LITTLE ENGINE||G||5||Danny O’Brien||23||54kg||90|
|24||7115443×50||MUJADALE||G||8||Paul A Jones||24||54kg||90|
|25||x07130x409||DON DOREMO (NZ)||G||5||Robbie Laing||25||54kg||89|
|26||71150x7x01||WEXFORD TOWN (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||26||54kg||87|
|27||10320x2x51||VELOX (GB)||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||27||54kg||83|
|28||121×771010||CAN’T REFUSE (NZ)||G||5||Kelvin Bourke||28||54kg||79|