Michael Moroney’s Bright Shadow runner-up last time out Serenade is one of the in-form nominees for the Gai Waterhouse Classic 2016 on Ipswich Cup Day this Saturday in Queensland.
Three stakes races headline the Ipswich card on the weekend including the fillies and mares facing off in the $100,000 Listed Sky Racing Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m).
The handicap clash has attracted a bumper 21 nominations this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival including Moroney’s young Star Witness filly Serenade.
She takes on the holder mares if accepted having enjoyed a strong campaign to date that includes three top three runs leading-up to the Gai Waterhouse Classic.
After a mid-April win in a Benchmark 70 at Ballarat, she travelled to Adelaide and crossed third to Rageese in the Listed Nitschke Stakes (1400m).
Her latest run at Doomben produced a close second when under a length off the winner Palazzo Pubblico in the Listed Bright Shadow Handicap (1200m) on May 21.
Last year’s Bright Shadow Handicap produced the Gai Waterhouse Classic winner Real Surreal who improved on her fourth in the Brisbane lead-up.
The other fillies nominated for the Gai Waterhouse Classic this season are the Liam Birchley-trained Group 1 performed Blueberry Hill, Gerald Ryan’s daughter of Fastnet Rock Cartier Rock, the in-form Tony Gollan-trained Dee Nine Elle coming off four straight top three runs and Madame De Ban.
From the in-form stables of Matthew Dunn, Myboycharlie filly Madame De Ban comes off a last start win at the track and distance having defeated a Class 3 field of fillies and mares on May 25.
The Murwillumbah-based Dunn has also nominated Court Command mare Nicked And Court whose other Ipswich run two back produced a third to Rosenet.
One of the highest-rated of the nominees meanwhile is Stratum four-year-old Echo Gal trained by the race’s namesake, Gai Waterhouse.
A winner of four of her 22 starts to date, Echo Gal is out to break a notable drought going back to August last year.
Her latest two runs in Brisbane saw her finish 10th as a $41 roughie to Malaguerra in Doomben’s Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) before a sixth to Spill The Beans at Eagle Farm only last weekend in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m).
Also coming off Group 1 form this campaign is the Darren Weir-trained Street Boss five-year-old Scarlet Billows.
She won over 1400m at Caulfield in mid-April before a disappointing 17th from a wide draw in Morphettville’s Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) behind Precious Gem.
Her latest run also saw her well-beaten, Scarlet Billows second last when over eight lengths away eighth behind Music Magnate in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 28.
Other notable hopes include Bright Shadow fifth placed Adorabubble, Casino Prince six-year-old Slots and the Tony Gollan-trained Tina Melina.
A winner of six of her 17 starts to date, Jet Spur four-year-old Tina Melina is the other best out of the Bright Shadow outside of runner-up Serenade this year.
She crossed under two and a half-lengths away fourth and chases her first win since the Listed Nudgee Handicap (1200m) in January when carrying 58kg to victory at Doomben.
See below for the full Gai Waterhouse Classic 2016 nominations, the final field of acceptances and barriers set for release on Wednesday making now the time to discover the benefits of betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 Gai Waterhouse Classic Nominations
Ipswich Racecourse – 18/06/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x558779589||ADORABEEL (NZ)||M||6||Helen Page||87|
|4||369×474944||BEST DANCE YET||M||7||Ross Simpson||55|
|5||12126×6878||BLUEBERRY HILL||F||3||Liam Birchley||82|
|6||x5426x5052||CARTIER ROCK||F||3||Gerald Ryan||68|
|7||2311×42232||DEE NINE ELLE||F||3||Tony Gollan||–|
|8||202x409x06||ECHO GAL||M||4||Gai Waterhouse||91|
|10||91345×0305||ELUSIVE CATCH (NZ)||M||4||Liam Birchley||74|
|11||x211444x95||FRILL SEEKING||M||5||Matthew Smith||78|
|12||5×84012505||GET ON||M||7||Trevor Thomas||62|
|13||9x23121x15||GOLDEN MINESHAFT||M||4||Paul H Duncan||75|
|14||1×94211090||LUCKY NEWS||M||6||Kristen Buchanan||84|
|15||1163×81||MADAME DE BAN||F||3||Matthew Dunn||66|
|16||1043960×37||NICKED AND COURT||M||5||Matthew Dunn||71|
|18||4510×57108||SCARLET BILLOWS||M||5||Darren Weir||96|
|21||2601131×94||TINA MELINA||M||4||Tony Gollan||90|