The returning Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained All Aged Stakes winner English is the headline nomination taken for The Shorts 2016 on George Main Stakes Day in Sydney this weekend.
One of the key support races on the Saturday card at Royal Randwick Racecourse, this season’s $200,000 Group 2 Bowermans Office Furniture The Shorts (1100m) has attracted 15 sprinters at nomination stage.
The top-rated of the hopefuls is Encosta De Lago mare English, entered to make her four-year-old debut at a track she boasts an excellent record of three wins and a third from five runs to date over.
As a filly she finished off her autumn prep in mid-August with a smart win over Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), which followed her third to Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) also at Randwick in April.
Darren Weir’s All Aged runner-up Black Heart Bart franked the form going on to win The Goodwood in Adelaide and Memsie Stakes first-up at Caulfield, as well as placing second in Brisbane’s Stradbroke Handicap and second last Saturday to stablemate Palentino in the Makybe Diva Stakes as the beaten favourite.
English has won two subsequent Randwick trials since her elite level success, the latest in the wet over 1045m on September 5, and is undefeated first-up (2-2-0-0).
The other top rated nominee for the set weights plus penalties short-distance feature is the Chris Waller-trained Japonisme.
He won the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) last Melbourne Cup Carnival down the Flemington straight, as well as the lucrative Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick in the autumn.
A third in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) in mid-May at Doomben followed but a disappointing sixth to Felines on September 3 in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) under 60kg.
He will appreciate the drop back to 58kg this weekend, but is still the top-weighted of The Shorts entries.
Last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival the Joe Pride-trained Dubawi gelding Ball Of Muscle ran second to Rebel Dane (2015) in The Shorts results second-up before his second to Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley in Melbourne.
Ball Of Muscle returns looking to go one better this weekend first-up off a winning Warwick Farm trial from September 9, the six-year-old looking to break a winning drought going back to May last year in Brisbane.
Pride has also nominated for his Starcraft six-year-old Craftiness who comes off a third in the Concorde Stakes, his fourth placing from five runs at Randwick.
He is an 1100m specialist boasting four wins from seven runs over The Shorts distance.
First-up for Peter & Paul Snowden if accepted is Mossman six-year-old Dothraki, last seen running fifth in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) in the winter.
That followed his second in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m), and he has trialled twice in Sydney over the break including a heat win over 1000m from September 9 over Decision Time (2nd) and Chris Waller’s superstar mare Winx (3rd).
Other notable The Shorts nominees include Howmuchdoyouloveme who hasn’t raced since winning the Takeover Target Stakes in January at Gosford and Greg Bennett’s returning Scone-trained sprinter Cleary Innocent who has shoots for a sixth consecutive win.
See below for the full The Shorts 2016 nominations, the field out on Wednesday followed by betting at Ladbrokes.com.au who have exclusive George Main Stakes offers running this weekend.
2016 The Shorts Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 17/09/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1126x1631x||ENGLISH||M||4||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||1||56kg||110|
|3||x13x73525x||DOTHRAKI||G||6||Peter & Paul Snowden||3||56kg||106|
|4||1x3223x68x||BALL OF MUSCLE||G||6||Joseph Pride||4||57kg||105|
|5||362x70x718||SMART VOLATILITY||G||8||John Sargent||5||55kg||104|
|6||x3415370x5||BOSS LANE||G||6||Ron Quinton||6=||55kg||101|
|8||2x0130x10x||KAEPERNICK||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||8||55kg||97|
|11||1x6211111x||CLEARLY INNOCENT||G||5||Greg Bennett||11||55kg||95|
|14||5900902657||DECISION TIME||G||9||Clarry Conners||14||56kg||90|