Chris Waller’s Group 1 winner Japonisme is the headline nomination for his return to racing in the Concorde Stakes 2016 at Randwick Racecourse this weekend in Sydney.
Last spring the son of Choisir rounded out his campaign with a win in Flemington’s Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and he has been first past the post just once since.
In early April he took out the lucrative $600,000 Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) and was last seen finishing a brave third when only 1.4 lengths off the winner Malaguerra in Doomben’s Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) in mid-May.
Japonisme is now nominated to make his four-year-old debut on Saturday back at Randwick in the $125,000 Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) as part of the Chelmsford Stakes Day action.
The set weights plus penalties sprint attracted 13 original entries on Monday morning with Racing NSW extending the Concorde Stakes nominations until 11:00am (AEST) on Tuesday.
After Saturday the plan according to Waller is to run in two more Sydney races before heading south for a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21.
“Japonisme will have three runs in Sydney – the Concorde, The Shorts and the Premiere Stakes and then go to Melbourne for the Manikato Stakes,” Waller told AAP.
The only other four-year-old nominee currently is the Gerald Ryan-trained Kinglike, formerly with Peter Moody, who also races first-up if accepted into the Concorde Stakes field.
A son of Exceed And Excel, Kinglike was last seen finishing fourth to Japonisme beaten under a length in a blanket finish in the Arrowfield and is best known for his Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) win at Flemington last September.
Ryan is thrilled with the condition of Kinglike since the Arrowfield run in the autumn and has him rated as the “forgotten horse” ahead of the spring.
“I reckon he’s around 50 kilos heavier than the autumn,” Ryan said.
“He was a late foal and took a long time to mature.
“All the jockeys who have ridden him work tell me he feels like a Group 1 horse and that’s without me telling them who they were on.
“I think he’s the forgotten horse.”
Plenty of other entries hold a fitness advantage over the returning new season four-year-olds including Group 1 performed Boss Lane coming off a Show County Quality fifth, the John O’Shea-trained Sarajevo who placed second at Rosehill over 1100m on August 13 and the flying Hidden Pearl.
A six-year-old daughter of Hidden Dragon, Hidden Pearl is trained in Brisbane by Barry Lockwood and comes off back-to-back August wins at home at Eagle Farm ahead of her first Randwick assignment.
Other notable hopes include Terry Evans’ last start winner at the track and distance from the winter Arise Augustus, O’Shea’s Group 2 QTC Cup runner-up from June Federal, and Wouldnt It Be Nice last seen finishing fourth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Heavy (10) track.
See below for the current Concorde Stakes 2016 nominations, the final field and betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au due for release on Wednesday.
2016 Concorde Stakes Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 03/09/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||3424313211||ARISE AUGUSTUS||G||6||Terry Evans||73|
|2||x3415370x5||BOSS LANE||G||6||Ron Quinton||101|
|6||7x615357x6||GOCUP BELLE||M||6||Mick J Smith||65|
|7||1321x10x11||HIDDEN PEARL||M||6||Barry Lockwood||93|
|12||362x70x718||SMART VOLATILITY||G||8||John Sargent||104|
|13||0x96457624||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||G||6||Paul Perry||90|