Allan Denham’s last start Winter Dash winner Mount Nebo is one of the headline nominations taken for next Wednesday’s Ramornie Handicap 2016 sprint during the Grafton Cup Carnival.
The first of the carnival’s two Black-Type events, this year’s $160,000 Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) runs on July 13 and has attracted a bumper 40 early entries.
Included in the list of nominees vying for a spot in the capacity 16-starter field is the Wyong-trained Mount Nebo, a six-year-old son of Dubawi coming off the Winter Dash (1200m) win at Randwick on June 25.
That victory, his seventh at career start number 38, followed from a first-up second behind Danish Twist in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) and while he has no Grafton race experience is in flying form ahead of the stakes’ showdown.
Winter Dash runner-up Decision Time is also among this winter’s Ramornie Handicap nominations, the Clarry Conners-trained Foreplay eight-year-old defeated under half a length as a $51 roughie.
Along with Mount Nebo other notable last start winners entered for the Ramornie this season include the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained El Sasso and Kelso Wood’s class Queenslander Into The Red.
A five-year-old son of Snitzel, El Sasso enjoyed a first-up victory over 1100m at Rosehill last Saturday by a runaway two and a quarter lengths.
He has plenty of place form second-up (5-0-3-1) and also a stellar record over the Ramornie distance (18-5-5-3) that he is sure to enjoy getting back up over next week.
Into The Red is another rising six-year-old, the Brisbane-trained son of Not A Single Doubt having been restricted to just three runs in the past 12 months.
He has won two of those in stakes class however including a last start Eagle Farm victory in the Group 3 WJ Healy stakes (1200m) from June 25.
A Brisbane raider took out last year’s edition and the Liam Birchley-trained Rock Royalty is back for a second crack this season.
The now seven-year-old has been unable to finish in the money since and comes off a sixth in the WJ Healy at home last start.
If he does trump his recent form and return for back-to-back Ramornie Handicap wins he will be the first dual champion of the race since The Jackal (2007-08).
Last year’s winning horseman Birchley has also nominated for his Showcasing three-year-old Hardline who has won four of his eight career starts to date.
The only other three-year-old nominated for a shot at the older sprinters in the Ramornie next week is the John O’Shea-trained Mogador, the Lonhro colt coming off a third in the WJ Healy Stakes.
His other latest run was a second at Doomben in the Listed Queensland Day Stakes (1200m), so his form from the winter is solid.
Also out of the WJ Healy Stakes, form that could stack up in Grafton, is fifth-placegetter Final Crescendo who has previous winning form at the Ramornie track and who ran sixth to Rock Royalty in the race 12 months ago.
Last year’s runner-up Barbed is also back for a second shot at the title, the Godolphin-raced Canny Lad five-year-old coming off a disappointing 11th when beating home just one other runner in the Winter Dash.
His form in Sydney prior to that was solid with two close fourths at Rosehill in March in the Group 3 Maurice McCarton Stakes (1100m) and Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) defeated around two lengths in both races.
Gai Waterhouse has nominated for her Stratum mare Echo Gal who is out to atone for a 13th behind Miss Cover Girl in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) as a $41 roughie last start in Brisbane, while fellow mare Bells Of War has a good Grafton record.
The Con Karakatsanis-trained War Pass five-year-old has had two runs at the track for two second place efforts, but hasn’t won a race since September last year.
Other notable nominees include the Gary Portelli-trained recent Chief De Beers winner in Brisbane Straturbo, and in-form veteran Steel Zip who ran second in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich and fourth in the Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunny Coast this campaign.
See below for the full Ramornie Handicap 2016 nominations, the final field and barrier draw due for release on Monday July 11.
In the meantime enjoy access to all the winter’s best racing odds and offers online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!
2016 Ramornie Handicap Nominations
Grafton Racecourse – 13/07/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||52x133x007||ALL ASSURED||M||4||Kim Wildman||–|
|2||4192342214||APPLE THIEF||G||5||Bryan Guy||–|
|4||791x4223x4||BELLS OF WAR||M||5||Con Karakatsanis||76|
|5||07x3310x60||BIG MONEY||G||6||Rodney Northam||–|
|6||5354x17x38||BLACKBOARD SPECIAL||G||5||Wayne S Lawson||–|
|7||4238×36106||CHOICE BRO||G||6||Tony Sears||–|
|8||1x44613x07||CROOKED BLAZE||G||4||Leon Davies||80|
|10||0525900902||DECISION TIME||G||8||Clarry Conners||91|
|11||2x409x0630||ECHO GAL||M||4||Gai Waterhouse||–|
|12||34x92821x1||EL SASSO||G||5||Peter & Paul Snowden||87|
|13||20x131223x||EVER SO NATURAL||G||4||Cliff Bashford||72|
|15||856x5669x5||FINAL CRESCENDO||G||6||David Kelly||–|
|16||4x0019306x||FINISHING CARD||G||9||Brett Dodson||85|
|17||0019113211||FREE BILLY||G||5||Peter Sinclair||77|
|18||171x119x39||HARDLINE (NZ)||G||3||Liam Birchley||–|
|19||252621153x||HILL SPY||G||5||Luke Pepper||77|
|20||96x2111x70||HOTEL DRIVE||G||4||Scott Henley||–|
|21||29x136x151||INTO THE RED||G||5||Kelso Wood||–|
|23||52x3451x49||MANA MANU||G||6||Marcus Wilson||–|
|25||x31524536x||MORAL VICTORY||G||6||Tim Martin||83|
|26||486x990x21||MOUNT NEBO||G||6||Allan Denham||94|
|27||x1x041819x||OCEAN GRAND||G||4||Cliff Bashford||72|
|28||x3276x6448||OFFICE BEARER||H||6||Jason Coyle||88|
|29||157654×393||PRINCE MAYTED||G||4||Colt Prosser||75|
|31||00×8840576||ROCK ROYALTY||G||7||Liam Birchley||–|
|32||200135×416||ROYAL OCCASION||G||5||Matthew Dunn||–|
|34||80362x70x7||SMART VOLATILITY||G||7||John Sargent||100|
|35||9x59400x12||SPECIFIC CHOICE||G||6||Cody Morgan||76|
|36||2111036×34||STEEL ZIP||G||8||Pat Duff||–|
|38||2601131×94||TINA MELINA||M||4||Tony Gollan||–|
|39||13340×0763||TOTAL AUTHORITY||M||5||Con Karakatsanis||69|