James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
Former star Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner will kick-off his Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign for new trainer Peter Gelagotis in Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes 2016 at Caulfield Racecourse.
The veteran Savoire Vivre is a rising nine-year-old and debuts for Moe horseman Gelagotis in the $150,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) having previously been prepared by Mick Burles.
A warhorse of 54 starts, The Cleaner is first-up on Saturday on the back of a runaway six length trail on the synthetic track at Cranbourne on July 18 looking to add to his strong first-up record of three wins, three seconds and a third from nine runs to date.
He is tracking towards a second-up run in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) back at the track on August 13 before shooting for his third straight win in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 3.
Also first-up in the Bletchingly Stakes, which attracted a total of 14 early entries with Racing Victoria extending nominations until 10:00am (AEST) on Tuesday, is the defending champion Smokin’ Joey.
Wez Hunter’s Mornington-based Encosta De Lago eight-year-old took out last year’s Bletchingly Stakes, but has failed to finish in the money since with his latest run being a distant 16th of 18 runners behind Black Heart Bart in Adelaide’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 21.
A host of other runners coming off strong winter lead-up form including the Henry Dwyer-trained Beirut who has won her past four starts on the trot.
The five-year-old Lonhro mare’s winning streak goes back to early May and her latest win was over the Bletchingly Stakes track and distance on July 16 when defeating Nadeem Lass by a half-length in a Mares’ Handicap.
Also coming off a win is the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Duporth four-year-old Ruettiger who saluted in the Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) down the Flemington straight on July 9.
He also has a strong record at Caulfield (3-1-0-2) and the Sprint Series win was his third from six runs over the 1200m distance.
Odyssey Moon is also a Black-Type Flemington placegetter from three weeks ago, the Robert Smerdon-trained Snitzel colt having his last run as a three-year-old on Saturday if accepted.
The youngster was beaten only a quarter-length when third to Lord Von Costa in the Listed Creswick Stakes (1200m) on the back of two wins at Sandown-Hillside and Flemington in June, but hasn’t finished top three from his three previous Caulfield runs.
Other notable Bletchingly Stakes entries include the John Sadler-trained 2016 Memsie Stakes-bound mare Charmed Harmony and Darren Weir’s returning Flying Spur colt Mahuta.
Check out the current Bletchingly Stakes 2016 nominations below, the field and barriers due for release on Wednesday.
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2016 Bletchingly Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 30/07/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|2||541×962100||CHARMED HARMONY||G||6||John Sadler||106|
|3||143×048346||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|4||42270x00x4||LORD OF THE SKY||H||5||Robbie Laing||103|
|5||494x11120x||MAGNAPAL||G||6||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||101|
|7||50×4323113||ODYSSEY MOON||C||3||Robert Smerdon||91|
|8||3x11x32431||RUETTIGER (NZ)||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman||91|
|9||00x0x1361x||RUNWAY STAR||M||5||Phillip Stokes||97|
|10||19x0x0700x||SMOKIN’ JOEY||G||8||Wez Hunter||100|
|11||62438×4603||TADDEI TONDO||G||6||Gerard Moloney||–|
|12||245x21377x||THE CLEANER||G||8||Peter Gelagotis||110|
|13||78×3145017||THERMAL CURRENT||G||5||Darren Weir||99|
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