Last year’s winning trainer Chris Waller has three early entries in his attempt to take out Saturday’s Christmas Cup 2015 at Randwick Racecourse and go back-to-back in the Villiers Stakes Day feature.
Nominations for this year’s $100,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) have been extended until 11am (AEST) on Tuesday after Racing NSW took just 13 original entries for the handicap clash for stayers.
Three of those are prepared by Waller who won the race 12 months ago with Saigon Tea who came off a Rosehill win and relished a Soft track on the day.
Of Waller’s three stablemates the highest-rated is seven-year-old Instrumentalist, winner of the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) back in February.
The mile and a half is his pet distance with three wins and a third from fiver previous 2400m runs but his lead-up form has been poor with three last place efforts from as many runs including a seventh behind stablemate Telepathic in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) on November 28.
Waller’s other two chances come off better form with Quick Strike and Vilanova both running third last start.
A winner over 1900m at Canterbury two back, progressive four-year-old Quick Strike was beaten only one and a half lengths over the 2400m at Rosehill in a Benchmark 81 on November 21 when carrying a hefty 61kg.
He’ll be weighted better this weekend stepping up in grade, the son of High Chaparral having his first stakes test since his eighth to Magicool in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben back in early June.
Vilanova is a five-year-old son of Commands coming off two Rosehill thirds from last month, the first over 1900m in the November Topaz behind Bring Luck and the last in the ATC Cup.
The galloper that beat Quick Strike home by two last start to win at Rosehill was the John Thompson-trained Teofilo mare Jiayguan.
She has won her past two on the trot over 2400m firstly at Randwick on November 3 and then at Rosehill with 58kg and 58.5kg on her back respectively to give her a gun record of three wins from four starts at a distance she’s back up over on Saturday if accepted.
Also coming off a win is Ben Ahrens’ Beaudesert-based improver Chillin With Dylan.
The four-year-old Dylan Thomas gelding took out a Doomben race over 2200m on November 28 by a tidy two and a quarter lengths but is yet to be tested over further than that distance.
Another exciting four-year-old stepping up in distance is the Amanda Turner & Mauro Poletti-trained Bring Luck.
A nicely-bred son of Sebring the galloper beat home fellow Christmas Cup nominees Sir John Hawkwood (2nd) and Vilanova (3rd) on a Heavy (9) Sydney track in the November Topaz before his ATC Cup fifth.
He prepared for Saturday’s run with a Warwick Farm trial over 1200m last Friday that he won by two and a quarter lengths ahead of his maiden run at Randwick and over further than 2000m.
Other notable hopes include Gai Waterhouse’s last start Canterbury winning Bernardini three-year-old Cyrus Rocks, the Peter Moody-trained Tavistock mare Imperial Lass who was third to subsequent Cox Plate winner Winx in this year’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) and ATC Cup runner-up Lucky Lucky Lucky for Angaston trainer Tony McEvoy.
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2015 Christmas Cup Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 12/12/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||14233×3615||BRING LUCK||G||4||Amanda Turner & Mauro Poletti||72|
|2||3440×51151||CHILLIN WITH DYLAN||G||4||Ben Ahrens||80|
|3||605×3321||CYRUS ROCKS||G||3||Gai Waterhouse||66|
|4||x3653x1192||IMPERIAL LASS (NZ)||M||4||Peter G Moody||81|
|5||1411x00x87||INSTRUMENTALIST (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||95|
|6||20×0401611||JIAYUGUAN (IRE)||M||5||John P Thompson||84|
|7||31229×6752||LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY||G||6||Tony McEvoy||87|
|8||7064×68604||MAJOR MAJOR||G||7||Jim Litt||68|
|9||x8946x9750||PLANET PURPLE||G||9||Kerry Parker||76|
|10||5708×44213||QUICK STRIKE||G||4||Chris Waller||81|
|11||x016276x42||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||G||7||David Vandyke||92|
|12||x0760x7733||VILANOVA (NZ)||G||5||Chris Waller||89|
|13||16×1576343||ZATOPAZ (NZ)||G||4||Bjorn Baker||65|