The new-look Longines Mile 2016, registered as the Cantala Stakes, has attracted 40 gallopers at nomination stage this week ahead of the Saturday week showdown on Victoria Derby Day.
One of four elite levels scheduled to run at Flemington Racecourse on October 29 to kick off the Melbourne Cup Carnival, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Longines Mile Cantala Stakes (1600m) nominations were taken on Monday by Racing Victoria (RV).
The handicap showdown has attracted plenty of talented early entries including pre-field favourite in futures markets at bookmakers around the country, He’s Our Rokkii.
The David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained four-year-old has won his past five starts on the trot dating back to early April.
His latest turf triumph saw him become a Group 1 winner at Flemington on October 8 with a quarter-length victory in the Toorak Handicap (1600m).
From eight runs over the mile he now boasts three wins and two seconds, good form heading into the Longines Mile.
Lindsay Park have a total of five Longines Miles nominations this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with the other most notable being He Or She and Seaburge.
A super-consistent Kendal Star six-year-old, He Or She comes off three Group 1 placings this campaign.
The first was a third in Flemington’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) followed by a second to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Last start he came up against Australia’s best racehorse Winx and ran third to her in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Seaburge, who is also nominated for a run in the $200,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040) this weekend on Cox Plate Day, was last seen running second in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
The three-year-old Sebring colt also holds a nomination for the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) on the same day as the Longines Mile over the staying distance.
No three-year-old has won the Longines Mile, formerly the Emirates Stakes and run a week later, in over 30 years.
Also high-up the Cantala Stakes (Longines Mile) betting markets at nomination stage are the Darren Weir-trained duo of Palentino and Voodoo Lad.
Winner of the Makybe Diva Stakes at the track / distance two back, four-year-old Teofilo stallion Palentino is two-from-two at the Flemington mile having also won the Australian Guineas on protest at the track in early March.
He has a flying Flemington record of three wins and a second from four starts that he’ll be out to add to after failing to fire when last (13th) to Hauraki at Randwick in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) last time out.
Stablemate Voodoo Lad meanwhile is in outstanding form this season, the five-year-old having won three of his past four starts including the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Cup Day.
Weir has a total of six Longines Mile (Cantala Stakes) entries with recent Black-Type winner Ulmann, Stratum Star, French import Lidari and Toorak Handicap fourth placegetter Royal Rapture rounding out his hopefuls.
Sydney’s Chris Waller has won two of the past five editions of the old Cantala Stakes with Albert The Fat (2011) and Boban (2013).
He is in the mix this season with five entries including Moonga Stakes fourth placegetter Good Project, last Saturday’s Group 3 Coongy Cup winner Vanbrugh and Epsom Handicap third placed Pins four-year-old Mackintosh.
The 2016 Longines Mile final field and barrier draw is set for release on October 26, at 9:30am (AEDT).
Before then make sure you check out futures betting on all the Melbourne Cup Carnival features open at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Enhanced Odds (T&Cs apply).
2016 Longines Mile (Cantala Stakes) Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 29/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||111x||ABBEY MARIE||M||4||Michael Kent||96|
|3||x0420x0155||AWESOME ROCK||H||5||Leon & Troy Corstens||109|
|4||9x960x3116||BON AURUM||H||4||Ciaron Maher||105|
|5||2311118×35||DANISH TWIST||M||5||Kris Lees||104|
|6||044106x0x0||DESERT JEUNEY||G||7||Nigel Blackiston||98|
|7||3x1210x511||DON’T DOUBT MAMMA||M||4||Tony McEvoy||105|
|8||7x0955x307||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||G||7||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||99|
|10||26x1240x51||FIRST SEAL||M||5||John P Thompson||110|
|11||121x377x04||GOOD PROJECT||H||5||Chris Waller||105|
|12||0007071162||GREAT ESTEEM||G||6||Stuart Webb||100|
|13||x2018x7323||HE OR SHE||G||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||–|
|14||31122×4167||HEAVENS ABOVE||M||5||Tim Martin||103|
|15||x41211x111||HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ)||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||108|
|16||1240×1113||HEY DOC||G||3||Tony McEvoy||–|
|18||21201×3112||HUMIDOR (NZ)||G||4||Johno Benner||–|
|19||5×11828447||JACQUINOT BAY||G||9||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||102|
|20||12217×2225||LE ROMAIN||G||4||Kris Lees||108|
|21||900x1xD2x0||LIDARI (FR)||H||8||Darren Weir||102|
|22||4101110×13||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||G||4||Chris Waller||103|
|23||x21x625116||MCCREERY (GB)||G||5||Chris Waller||100|
|24||x040412201||MR INDIVIDUAL||H||4||Leon & Troy Corstens||84|
|26||3217111114||ROYAL RAPTURE||G||7||Darren Weir||103|
|27||1216×4542||SEABURGE||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||–|
|28||32x145x227||SINGING (FR)||H||7||Kris Lees||97|
|29||7236033×85||STRATUM STAR||H||5||Darren Weir||109|
|30||11246×3449||TASHBEEH||H||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||97|
|31||610x5212x6||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||H||7||Robert Hickmott||111|
|32||x4651818x1||THUNDER FANTASY||H||6||Anthony Cummings||107|
|34||1x110x2662||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||G||6||Lee & Anthony Freedman||97|
|35||7203×52284||TORGERSEN (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||89|
|37||10×2014121||VADAMOS (FR)||H||6||Andre Fabre||–|
|39||x121231121||VOODOO LAD||G||5||Darren Weir||108|
|40||49x2515x05||ZANBAGH||M||6||John P Thompson||100|