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Chris Waller’s dual Group 1 winner Press Statement will shoot for his maiden elite level Sydney win this weekend as the headline nominee for the Randwick Guineas 2016.
One of two feature races on the Randwick Racecourse card on Saturday, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) has attracted a total of 21 nominations.
Leading the pre-field Randwick Guineas odds at bookmakers around the country is Hinchinbrook colt Press Statement best known for his wins in Doomben’s Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) as a two-year-old and the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne last October.
The horse returned to racing in Sydney on February 20 with a tidy two and a quarter length win in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) and is now out to extend his brilliance in the Randwick Guineas in his maiden run at the track.
Waller is yet to saddle-up a Randwick Guineas winner, but Press Statement has the right form with the Hobartville Stakes – Randwick Guineas double completed twice in the past two years by Dissident (2014) and Hallowed Crown (2015).
Also nominated for the Randwick Guineas for Waller is Vanbrugh, another top hope despite his unplaced 10th in the Hobartville Stakes first-up.
The Encosta De Lago colt is two from three at Royal Randwick including his success in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at the track last October.
Also with dual nominees is Michael Moroney who has Tivaci and Tulsa in the mix after the pair ran first and third respectively in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington a fortnight back.
The last Randwick Guineas winner to come off a lead-up run in Melbourne was Mosheen back in 2012, but Moroney’s pair looked impressive on Black Caviar Lightning Day.
The aforementioned Mosheen was also the only filly to beat home the boys in the Randwick Guineas since Fine Society (2003) and this year there are three fillies nominated for the classic.
David Hayes & Tom Dabernig train all three with Risque, Sacred Eye and Stay With Me.
Formerly trained in New Zealand, Darci Brahma filly Risque blitzed her debut down under on February 13 at Caulfield with a win in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m).
Sacred Eye comes off a fifth in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) and is also nominated for the $150,000 Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) for fillies and mares on Randwick Guineas Day.
Stay With Me is also a dual Australian Guineas – Aspiration Quality nominee for the stable, the Thousand Guineas winner from the spring third to Ghisoni only last Saturday in Randwick’s Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m).
The fourth Randwick Guineas nominee for Hayes & Dabernig is Sovereign Nation, the Encosta De Lago colt after his first win since the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley last October.
John O’Shea’s smart Commands colt Holler is a notable omission from the Randwick Guineas nominations and instead is entered for the $500,000 Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) against the older horses at weight-for-age on the day.
O’Shea and Godolphin’s remaining Randwick Guineas chances are Victoria Derby runner-up Etymology and Shards both coming off unplaced Hobartville Stakes runs crossing ninth and 11th respectively.
See below for the full Randwick Guineas 2016 nominations, the final field and barriers due out on Wednesday.
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2016 Randwick Guineas Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 05/03/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||04711×47||BALMAIN BOY||G||3||Les Bridge||72|
|2||2251×91||CROSLEY HOTSHOT||G||3||Bjorn Baker||70|
|3||31x43062x6||DAL CIELO (NZ)||C||3||Murray Baker||84|
|4||1×22||DATA POINT||C||3||Michael Kent||64|
|6||1x69358x82||GOLD AMBITION (NZ)||G||3||Bjorn Baker||73|
|8||312×122||LE ROMAIN||G||3||Kris Lees||80|
|9||141||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||G||3||James Bridge||70|
|10||x1371330x7||MAN OF CHOICE||G||3||Luke Price||78|
|11||2113||MONTAIGNE (NZ)||G||3||Anthony Cummings||77|
|12||111x2511x1||PRESS STATEMENT||C||3||Chris Waller||108|
|13||2x61211x1||RISQUE (NZ)||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||92|
|14||12217×5||SACRED EYE||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||86|
|16||17148×65||SOVEREIGN NATION||C||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||84|
|17||5x11616x53||STAY WITH ME||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||102|
|19||1×416||TOP SCORE||C||3||John Sargent||70|
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