Clear favourite to win the Crown Oaks, the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sacred Eye is the headline Wakeful Stakes 2015 nomination for this Saturday at Flemington Racecourse.
One of a bumper nine races on the Victoria Derby Day line-up that Ladbrokes.com.au are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on this weekend, the fillies’ only $300,000 Group 2 Mumm Wakeful Stakes (2000m) attracted 20 nominations.
The set weights plus penalties clash is the traditional lead-up into the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) held back at the track this Melbourne Cup Carnival on Thursday November 5.
Four of the past six Crown Oaks winners had their final lead-up in the Wakeful Stakes less than a week before the Group 1 including Kirramosa who completed the double in 2013.
Heading the all-in Crown Oaks odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.20 is High Chaparral filly Sacred Eye who boasts two wins and two seconds from four runs to date including the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 17 where she defeated Caulfield Guineas runner-up Lizard Island.
Now the money is on her going back-to-back over 2000m to improve on a second in her only previous Flemington run before stepping up to the 2500m for the Crown Oaks – a race her co-trainer Hayes won in 2006 with Miss Finland.
Hayes & Dabernig also have livewire hope Dawn Of Hope in the Wakeful – Crown Oaks picture, the lightly-raced daughter of Fastnet Rock a $17 hope for the Group 1 after her disappointing ninth in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day.
Winner of that showdown two weeks ago, the Clarry Conners-trained Dawnie Perfect is the next shortest priced Crown Oaks hope nominated for the Wakeful after Sacred Eye paying $7.50.
Conners knows what it takes to train a VRC Oaks winner having done so three times before most recently with Dear Demi (2012) who came off a fourth in the Wakeful before her victory three years ago.
Other last start winners in the mix for Saturday include Adelaide visitor Belgua Blue who won a Listed 1800m clash at home on October 10, the Gerald Ryan-trained Danehill Dancer filly Muzyka who saluted over 2100m at Wyong by over five lengths a fortnight ago and the Robert Smerdon-trained My Poppette who won the Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (1600m) just last Saturday on Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley.
The other best fancied Oaks types in futures betting for the Group 1 nominated to come via the Wakeful this spring include Ambience ($8) and Dulverton ($15).
John O’Shea prepares the Godolphin-race Street Cry filly Ambience who won the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Randwick two back before her Melbourne debut running third in the Ethereal Stakes.
Dulverton meanwhile is another Smerdon-trained filly in the mix, the daughter of Commands last seen running fifth to Victoria Derby hope on Saturday Extra Choice in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m).
See below for the full Wakeful Stakes 2015 nominations, the field out on Wednesday.
Before then make sure you’re ready to enjoy an Extra 50% on your very first Fixed Odds winner in Races 1 – 5 on Derby Day this Saturday by signing up with Ladbrokes.com.au now!
2015 Wakeful Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 31/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|2||118×7802||ASHLEE MARIE||F||3||Richard Laming||64|
|4||0135521||BELUGA BLUE||F||3||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||72|
|5||6x314x02||BENGAL CAT||F||3||John Sadler||70|
|6||27×14644||C’EST BEAU LA VIE||F||3||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||61|
|7||319||DAWN OF HOPE||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||63|
|8||035×6231||DAWNIE PERFECT||F||3||Clarry Conners||78|
|12||121×4731||MY POPPETTE||F||3||Robert Smerdon||82|
|13||896×5755||PRINCESS ARIA||F||3||Marc Conners||60|
|15||1221||SACRED EYE||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||86|
|16||2145×485||SEMPRE LIBERA||F||3||Gai Waterhouse||76|
|17||96×52||SHE’S GOT SPEED||F||3||Danny O’Brien||57|
|18||1353||THAMES COURT||F||3||David Brideoake||66|
|19||0x521x076||THE GREY FLASH||F||3||Robbie Laing||71|
|20||36×72937||ZARABEEL (NZ)||F||3||Leon & Troy Corstens||60|