The Chris Waller-trained defending champion I’m Imposing leads a classy list of Festival Stakes 2015 nominations for the marquee race at Rosehill Racecourse this Saturday in Sydney.
Twenty-two early entries were taken for this year’s $150,000 Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) including last year’s winner I’m Imposing for the season’s top trainer Waller who celebrated another Group 1 win just last Saturday with Good Project taking out the Railway Stakes in Perth.
Last Sydney Summer Racing Carnival Waller won the Festival Stakes with I’m Imposing who went on to run second to Rudy in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in December before a Boxing Day win in the Summer Cup (2000m).
The now 10-year-old veteran Danehill Dancer gelding is back for more black-type success on Saturday defending his Festival Stakes title in his first run since October 3 when a brave third to Complacent in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick.
Waller has a total of four Festival Stakes nominees this year with I’m Imposing joined by stablemates Heart Testa, She’s Clean and Telepathic.
Six-year-old Heart Testa is a four-time winner at the track from a dozen starts and comes off two fourth place runs including behind Zanbagh carrying a hefty 60.5kg on November 14 over 1350m at Rosehill on a Heavy (9) track.
Seven-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare She’s Clean has her 40th start next time out and is in top form despite her age this campaign.
Two back she ran third to Scarlet Billows at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in the Group 3 Maybe Mahal Stakes (1400m) before a Sandown run a fortnight ago crossing second behind Solicit in the Group 3 Summoned Stakes (1500m).
Fellow Waller-trained mare Telepathic is a Kiwi import and was last seen saluting in the wet over the same track and distance she sees on Saturday in a Benchmark 84.
Other last start winners nominated for the Festival Stakes this season include the Patrick Webster-trained Happy Clapper, progressive Sebring three-year-old More To Gain shooting for his third on the trot and John Thompson’s Bernardini mare Zanbagh.
Five-year-old Zanbagh won the Group 3 Keith Nolan Stakes (1600m) over the mile at Kembla Grange in March of 2014 and broke a lengthy winning drought taking out her first race since on November 14 with a half-length victory over Frespanol over 1350m at Rosehill.
Other notable Festival Stakes entries include John Sargent’s More Than Ready gelding Centre Pivot who is seven from four at Rosehill and has a great 1500m record (5-3-2-0), the Team Hawkes-trained Sandown Stakes fourth placegetter Ninth Legion and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Ryker.
Another progeny of Redoute’s Choice, five-year-old Ryker comes off back-to-back seconds including to Slots on November 7 at Canterbury last time out and shoots for his first win under race conditions since way back in March last year when taking out the Albury Guineas (1400m).
The full Saturday race fields for Sydney’s Festival Stakes Day line-up are out on Wednesday so stay tuned.
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2015 Festival Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Gardens – 28/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2111x711x6||CENTRE PIVOT||G||5||John Sargent||99|
|3||x2x111x5x1||HAPPY CLAPPER||G||5||Patrick Webster||84|
|4||6150×40344||HEART TESTA||G||6||Chris Waller||99|
|5||x03336x983||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||G||10||Chris Waller||104|
|6||350x19x87x||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||G||5||John O’Shea||103|
|7||3192231×70||KEEPIT TO YOURSELF (NZ)||G||6||Jim & Greg Lee||88|
|8||2236264×43||MIGHTY LUCKY||G||6||Fred Cowell||90|
|9||65×3211||MORE TO GAIN||G||3||Amanda Turner & Mauro Poletti||67|
|11||202×364604||NINTH LEGION||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||103|
|12||1606416765||NO TRICKS (NZ)||M||4||Wayne Walters||88|
|13||1112x21x29||PEACE FORCE||M||6||Gerald Ryan||98|
|15||111x1180x0||RED EXCITEMENT||G||6||Gerald Ryan||101|
|16||0x46090x22||RYKER||G||5||Peter & Paul Snowden||81|
|17||41x54x1532||SHE’S CLEAN||M||7||Chris Waller||101|
|18||101×012210||SLATE ON EDGE||G||6||Brett Thompson||89|
|19||x14304x321||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||M||5||Chris Waller||92|
|20||01002×8470||TIMELESS PRINCE||G||6||Tony Newing||86|
|22||89x00549x1||ZANBAGH||M||5||John P Thompson||93|