Reigning champion Chautauqua headlines the Gilgai Stakes 2016 nominations for Flemington on Sunday but the superstar sprinter is set to miss the race in favour of a Moir Stakes run at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
The Team Hawkes-trained glamour galloper is a seven-time Group 1 winner after his Hong Kong success in the Chairman’s Sprint from May and returns home for a first-up run under the lights on Friday evening in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m).
He is also nominated as a back-up for Turnbull Stakes Day on Sunday at Flemington Racecourse in the $200,000 Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).
On Monday Racing Victoria received a huge 21 Gilgai Stakes nominations and along with last year’s winner Chautauqua, Team Hawkes have also entered Our Boy Malachi and Kaepernick.
Eight-year-old Our Boy Malachi was last seen running fourth to Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney during the autumn, and is more likely to stay at home for a resuming run at Randwick on Saturday in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m).
Kaepernick is also a dual Premiere Stakes – Gilgai Stakes nominee across two states this weekend, the Fastnet Rock gelding last seen finishing only a quarter-length away third to Takedown in Randwick’s Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) a fortnight ago.
The other highest-rated of the Gilgai Stakes nominations this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the Darren Weir-trained dual Group 1 winner Lucky Hussler who is also more likely to take on Chautauqua in the Moir Stakes 2016 first-up.
Weir has a trio of Gilgai Stakes entries also nominating for his Oakleigh Plate – William Reid Stakes double winner in the autumn Flamberge, another Moir Stakes nominee, and returning Stratum stallion Stratum Star chasing his first win since last Caulfield Cup Day.
Sydney’s Chris Waller is in with two Gilgai Stakes nominations led by his reigning Coolmore Stud Stakes champ at the track / distance last Melbourne Cup Carnival Japonisme.
The now four-year-old son of Choisir is out to atone for his dead last in The Shorts at home on September 17 and tracks towards a Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) run on Emirates Stakes Day, November 5.
Waller’s other entry for Sunday’s Group 2 is Good Project, the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) winner over the mile in Perth from last November not seen since his seventh to star stablemate Winx in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 2.
Good Project has trialled twice in September for two placings and could stay at home for a shot at the Premiere Stakes over the trip to Melbourne the following day.
Other notable Gilgai Stakes nominees include the Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre who is also entered for the Premiere Stakes in Sydney, Robbie Griffiths’ upset Newmarket Handicap winner over Black Heart Bart The Quarterback, last start Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) winner at Caulfield Keen Array and the fellow Lindsay Park-trained Faatinah.
Nicconi four-year-old Faatinah also comes off a last start win, the gelding having beaten home Tivaci by 1.75 lengths at Flemington on September 10 in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m).
Check out the full Gilgai Stakes 2016 nominations below with the field, barriers and updated odds at Ladbrokes.com.au all due for release on Wednesday.
2016 Gilgai Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 02/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1112x1311x||CHAUTAUQUA||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||1||58kg||118|
|2||46136x129x||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||7||Darren Weir||2||58kg||113|
|5||264x321x24||UNDER THE LOUVRE||H||6||Robert Smerdon||5||57kg||110|
|6||21x361539x||THE QUARTERBACK||G||6||Robbie Griffiths||6||57kg||107|
|7||23121x377x||GOOD PROJECT||H||5||Chris Waller||7||57kg||105|
|8||0x7236033x||STRATUM STAR||H||5||Darren Weir||8||57kg||109|
|9||112x083x21||KEEN ARRAY||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||9||57kg||99|
|10||2346x115x1||FAATINAH||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||10||57kg||102|
|11||1x130x154x||OUR BOY MALACHI||G||8||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||11||56.5kg||108|
|12||x52311118x||DANISH TWIST||M||5||Kris Lees||12||54.5kg||102|
|14||x6211111x6||CLEARLY INNOCENT||G||5||Greg Bennett||14||56kg||95|
|15||151116x4x6||DURENDAL||G||5||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||15||56kg||97|
|16||x0130x10x3||KAEPERNICK||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||16||55.5kg||101|
|17||2152911×63||WE’VE GOT THIS||G||5||Greg Eurell||17||55kg||90|
|18||x5x250330x||SPY DECODER (NZ)||G||6||Anthony Cummings||18||55kg||82|
|19||1613×6||THE VIRGINIAN||G||4||Toby Edmonds||19||55kg||88|
|21||2113×313||SAINT VALOREM||G||4||Cameron Templeton||21||55kg||72|