Nigel Blackiston’s defending champion Suavito headlines the Futurity Stakes 2016 nominations taken for the Blue Diamond Stakes Day classic at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend in Melbourne.
There are three top level races on the program for Saturday including the weight-for-age $500,000 Group 1 ittalktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) that has attracted 17 nominations.
Leading the early entries is Blackiston’s now five-year-old daughter of Thorn Park who won the Futurity Stakes last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
She boasts a total of four wins from seven starts at the Caulfield track where she resumed off an injury-enforced 10 month spell on February 13 to win the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m).
Now she is out to go back-to-back in the Futurity Stakes for the first time since Niconero (2008-09) and complete the CF Orr Stakes – Futurity Stakes double recently achieved by Moment Of Change (2014) and All Too Hard (2013).
In the CF Orr Stakes first-up Suavito defeated a luckless Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler (2nd) and the Phillip Stokes-trained Adelaide raider Hucklebuck (2nd) who are both also nominated for the Futurity Stakes rematch.
Husson six-year-old Lucky Hussler had a horror run last time out and was very brave in defeat, the gelding looking to return to winning form and add to his top Caulfield track record of two wins and two seconds from five starts.
His best effort at the track was a win in last October’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Hucklebuck is also a past Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 Emirates Stakes, defeating runner-up Lucky Hussler, at Flemington.
His CF Orr Stakes third was also brave with the Elvstoem five-year-old doing all the work from a horror barrier 18 of 18 draw.
The past six Futurity Stakes winners all came off a last start victory and along with Suavito there is just one other runner that fits the bill this autumn.
Jason Warren’s lightly raced Beneteau three-year-old Puritan has won two of his four career runs to date, the latest being Caulfield’s Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) on February 6 and he is now looking to join All Too Hard (2013) as the only three-year-olds to win the Oakleigh Plate since 2004.
The other headline entries include the Robert Smerdon-trained Politeness and Murray Baker’s Kiwi galloper Turn Me Loose.
Consistent Street Sense mare Politeness won the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) last October before her second to Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at the same track and distance only a week later.
She returned running second to 2016 Oakleigh Plate runner on Saturday Heatherly in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) and is tipped to improve getting more distance this weekend second-up.
Turn Me Loose meanwhile had his first run since the Emirates success last season in the CF Orr where he crossed only one and a quarter lengths off Suavito for fourth from gate 10.
His second-up record is very good (3-2-1-0), and three four-year-olds have won the race since 2010.
See below for the full Futurity Stakes 2016 nominations, the field and barriers out on Wednesday.
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2016 Futurity Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 27/02/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||34x30721x0||AWESOME ROCK||H||4||Leon & Troy Corstens||96|
|3||0x4098035x||DON DOREMO (NZ)||G||5||Robbie Laing||90|
|4||460x2357x0||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||105|
|6||7x46136x12||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||6||Darren Weir||113|
|9||x60x123x35||REBEL DANE||H||6||Gary Portelli||110|
|10||229x15450x||SCISSOR KICK||H||4||Paul Messara||104|
|12||2x731310x7||STRATUM STAR||H||4||Darren Weir||110|
|13||N311x117x1||SUAVITO (NZ)||M||5||Nigel Blackiston||112|
|14||x0x122610x||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||H||6||Robert Hickmott||104|
|15||550x43510x||TRISTRAM’S SUN (NZ)||G||7||Robbie Laing||94|
|16||111x2x7x58||TRUST IN A GUST||H||5||Darren Weir||110|
|17||31x62111x4||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||H||4||Murray Baker||113|