Robert Smerdon’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre is nominated for a second-up spring run in the Bobbie Lewis Quality 2016 down the Flemington straight on Saturday.
In the winter the Excellent Art stallion won the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in Brisbane before a first-up second at Caulfield a fortnight back behind Redzel in the Group 3 The Heath 1100 (1100m).
The six-year-old is now one of a bumper 20 nominations received by Racing Victoria on Monday for this weekend’s $200,000 Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) on Makybe Diva Stakes Day.
He will enjoy the extra metres on Saturday with a strong 1200m record (14-6-2-4) and races at Flemington for the first time since last VRC Derby Day.
Also high-up the handicap ratings in the Bobbie Lewis Quality nominations this season is visiting Kiwi galloper Xtravagant who heads towards a run in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.
The Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained Pentire four-year-old was last seen winning a Group 3 sprint at home in late April, which followed his failed eighth to Palentino on debut down under at Flemington in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) back in March.
A host of smart new-season four-year-olds are nominated for the Bobbie Lewis this season including also the Chris Waller-trained Counterattack, the Michael Moroney-trained Tivaci and Sooboog for Darren Weir.
Counterattack has had just one run at the track when third to stablemate Japonisme in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) last Melbourne Cup Carnival and is the only hope for Sydney’s top trainer Waller in the race on Saturday.
Tivaci has more Flemington experience with four previous starts at the course including his Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) win in February.
He was last seen winning Queensland’s Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) back in early July and has a two-from-three first-up record to date.
Sooboog has the fitness edge for Saturday, the Snitzel stallion having won the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) over the track and distance last time out on August 6.
Also coming off a win is the Alan Hunter-trained Astro Castro who won his debut at Flemington over 1100m back in July as a 101/1 roughie.
Last year’s Bobbie Lewis Quality winner was the Lindsay Park-trained Churchill Dancer (2015), who beat home this season’s likely favourite Under The Louvre.
The stable are back this spring with two entries in Nicconi gelding Faatinah and Shaf.
Faatinah won the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide in early May defeating Sooboog before his last start fifth when under three lengths off the winner Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) later that month at Morphettville.
Shaf meanwhile has had just the one previous Flemington run from early August when winning a 1000nm Benchmark 90 by 1.5 lengths, but is out to atone for a 12th to Just Magical at Moonee Valley on August 20.
Check out the full Bobbie Lewis Quality 2016 nominations below, final acceptances out on Wednesday followed by the top markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2016 Bobbie Lewis Quality Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 10/09/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1||ASTRO CASTRO||G||4||Alan Hunter||67|
|2||2119x960x3||BON AURUM||H||4||Ciaron Maher||82|
|3||600x16038x||CHARLIE BOY||G||6||Peter & Paul Snowden||105|
|5||5900902657||DECISION TIME||G||9||Clarry Conners||90|
|6||8151116x4x||DURENDAL||G||5||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||98|
|7||12346x115x||FAATINAH||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||90|
|10||x059620x05||NICOSCENE||H||5||Lee & Anthony Freedman||84|
|11||14x19230x3||SANTA ANA LANE||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman||95|
|12||5111414210||SHAF||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||87|
|13||6712x2413x||SIR MOMENTS||G||6||Steven O’Dea||104|
|15||3x476x1213||THE MONSTAR||G||6||Brett Cavanough||97|
|18||3264x321x2||UNDER THE LOUVRE||H||6||Robert Smerdon||110|
|19||x2152911x6||WE’VE GOT THIS||G||5||Greg Eurell||87|
|20||831114181x||XTRAVAGANT (NZ)||H||4||Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards||107|