Peter & Paul Snowden’s HDF McNeil Stakes winner Defcon is one of the headline nominations taken for the Danehill Stakes 2016 at Flemington Racecourse this weekend in Melbourne.
One of three Group 2 support acts scheduled across the Makybe Diva Stakes Day card, this season’s $200,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) attracted 20 nominations on Monday at early entry stage.
Of the bumper crop of promising three-year-olds in the mix, the highest-rated is Team Snowden’s Choisir colt Defcon coming off a first-up win at Caulfield in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m).
Having also won Canberra’s Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) in March as a juvenile, the McNeil Stakes was the first run by Defcon since his failed 13th to stablemate Capitalist in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) during the autumn.
The second and third placegetters out of the McNeil Stakes are also nominated for Saturday’s rematch with Highland Beat (2nd) and Wazzenme (3rd) also in nice early spring form.
Super consistent Exceed And Excel colt Highland Beat hails from the Lindsay Park stables of Dabernig & Hayes and was beaten 1.25 lengths second-up in the McNeil.
That followed on from his second to another Snowden galloper, Russian Revolution, in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 13.
Lindsay Park have also nominated for three other runners including Derryn who comes off a second to Caulfield Guineas favourite Divine Prophet in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m) at Randwick from August 20.
Their contingent is rounded out by McKenzie Stakes runner-up at Moonee Valley three weeks back Dam Ready and Valliano who comes off a close fourth only a length off the winner in the Vain Stakes at Caulfield in mid-August.
Stuart Webb meanwhile prepares the McNeil Stakes third placed Wanted colt Wazzenme, the nicely-bred youngster also fifth in the Vain Stakes giving him the nice form line to follow into Saturday where he sees the Flemington straight for the first time.
Along with Defcon a number of other last start winners are also nominated for the Danehill Stakes including the John O’Shea-trained Archives, the Robbie Laing-trained filly Missrock and Kiwi raider Saracino.
Godolphin galloper Archives is yet to race as a three-year-old, but the son of Helmet won his last start as a juvenile at Doomben in the Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) ahead of his Melbourne debut if accepted for on Saturday.
O’Shea could also be represented in Saturday’s sprint by the returning Medaglia D’Oro colt Trenchant, last seen winning back-to-back Flemington races in the winter over 1400m and 1600m respectively.
Missrock is a daughter of Fastnet Rock and comes off a Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) win back in April at Randwick.
She is back at Flemington for the first time since her third to Concealer in a Group 3 over 1000m back on Melbourne Cup Day last year and is joined by stablemate Jaws Of Steel in the Danehill nominations.
Saracino is prepared by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman at Cambridge in New Zealand and was last seen winning the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) on August 13.
See below for the full Danehill Stakes 2016 nominations with the field, barriers and best betting odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au all out on Wednesday.
2016 Danehill Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 10/09/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|2||19||AWAKE IN GRINZING (NZ)||G||3||Danny O’Brien||66|
|3||414×2||DAM READY||G||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||66|
|4||2210×1||DEFCON||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||85|
|5||6×12||DERRYN||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||74|
|6||12425x||DREAMS APLENTY||G||3||John Zielke||71|
|7||5×13||HAIR TRIGGER||G||3||James Cummings||64|
|9||2020212×22||HIGHLAND BEAT||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||73|
|10||41x||I’M TELLING YA||C||3||Amy Johnston||64|
|11||4x21x||INSPIRED ESTELLE||F||3||Mick Price||66|
|12||3×1||INVINCIBLE JOY||C||3||Clinton McDonald||62|
|13||41730x||JAWS OF STEEL||G||3||Robbie Laing||68|
|15||1x10x||SAMARA DANCER (NZ)||F||3||Phillip Stokes||78|
|16||253×1||SARACINO (NZ)||C||3||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||78|
|18||325x1031x4||VALLIANO||G||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||76|
|20||11x||YU LONG SHENG HUI||C||3||Mick Price||70|