After scratching out from Sydney’s The Galaxy last weekend, Peter Moody’s Oakleigh Plate winner Flamberge features in the William Reid Stakes 2016 nominations for this Thursday night’s Moonee Valley feature.
Leading up to the Easter long weekend, this year’s $500,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) takes place under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne.
The weight-for-age sprint has attracted 18 early entries this autumn including Exceed And Excel six-year-old Flamberge who won the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield last time out.
He was originally accepted to run last Saturday at Rosehill in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), but was withdrawn after drawing wide and saved for the William Reid Stakes at a track he boasts two seconds and a third from four previous runs at.
Moody prepared dual William Reid Stakes winner Black Caviar (2011 and 2013) and shoots for a third victory in the showdown as Flamberge looks to be the first to back-up out of the Oakleigh and win without another lead-up.
The $1.4 million earner has the good Valley record and races at the track for the first time since his sixth to Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) last October if accepted.
Moody has also nominated for Kinglike, a three-year-old by the same sire (Exceed And Excel) whose last start was a second to English in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick.
The last three-year-old William Reid Stakes winner was Foxwedge (2012).
The highest rated of the William Reid Stakes nominees is the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler who is three runs into his autumn campaign.
A seven-year-old son of Husson, Lucky Hussler won last year’s William Reid Stakes by nearly two lengths first-up and is out to go back-to-back in the race for the first time since Apache Cat (2008-09).
He took out the Gold Coast Magic Millions Cup first-up in January before a last start second to Suavito in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) in mid-February.
Weir has a total of three entries in the race with Lucky Hussler joined by five-year-old Street Boss mare Scarlet Billows and former Perth-trained sprint star Black Heart Bart.
The Blackfriars six-year-old debuted for Weir in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12 and caught the eye crossing only a neck off the upset winner The Quarterback.
The Newmarket Handicap has produced three of the past five William Reid Stakes winners, most recently Spirit Of Boom (2nd) in 2014.
The last horse to complete the Newmarket Handicap – William Reid Stakes double meanwhile was the aforementioned Black Caviar (2011), with the Robbie Griffiths-trained The Quarterback out to be the next.
He saluted in the first leg as a 20/1 shot last time out improving on an Oakleigh Plate sixth, but has had just one previous run at Moonee Valley when seventh to Chautauqua in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) last September.
The other headline nominee is the John O’Shea-trained Holler, the Commands colt last seen winning Randwick’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 5.
He drops down in distance for the William Reid, his last 1200m run being a Group 2 Australia Stakes victory at Moonee Valley in January.
That was his second win from as many starts at the track he’s set to return to this Friday night, his trainer O’Shea chasing a second William Reid trophy after Foxwedge’s previously mentioned win.
See below for the full William Reid Stakes 2016 nominations, the final field and barriers out on Tuesday morning.
Before then make sure you’ve got an account open at Ladbrokes.com.au ready to back your favourites at the hottest autumn racing odds!
2016 William Reid Stakes Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 24/03/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0x111492x2||BLACK HEART BART||G||5||Darren Weir||107|
|2||2115754324||CHURCHILL DANCER||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||103|
|3||441x67716x||DE LITTLE ENGINE||G||5||Danny O’Brien||95|
|5||5x557143x0||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|6||301x2617x1||FLAMBERGE||G||6||Peter G Moody||112|
|7||26x73082x8||GREGERS||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||102|
|8||35x7948x18||HEADWATER||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||96|
|10||9835×05943||IT IS WRITTEN||G||7||Robbie Griffiths||96|
|12||21x16x2||KINGLIKE||C||3||Peter G Moody||98|
|13||7x46136x12||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||6||Darren Weir||113|
|14||18×1331211||MISS SETON SANDS||M||4||Tony McEvoy||95|
|15||x11250x10x||SABATINI||M||4||Lee & Shannon Hope||98|
|16||7x004510x5||SCARLET BILLOWS||M||5||Darren Weir||97|
|17||6x7114x382||SOOBOOG||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||76|
|18||6x7621x361||THE QUARTERBACK||H||5||Robbie Griffiths||107|