In-form three-year-old Star Turn is nominated for another Melbourne run against the older sprinters under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse this Friday in the William Reid Stakes 2017.
The last of the big Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival races, this season’s $500,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) attracted a bumper twenty-five early entries.
Among those are five three-year-olds out to win the weight-for-age feature on the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit for the first time since Foxwedge (2012).
The headline youngster is the Hawkes Racing-trained Star Witness colt Star Turn who races third-up in the William Reid Stakes field.
His last three runs have all produced Group 1 thirds at Flemington, most recently when beaten two lengths by upset winner Redkirk Warrior in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
He is obviously a very good straight track horse, but how he goes at his first look at the Valley will be key to him posting his maiden win since the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last October.
The bookies are taking no chances and Star Turn is installed as the equal $4.50 favourite in futures William Reid Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Co-trainer John Hawkes has prepared three previous William Reid Stakes winners, the latest of which was Yell (2003) during his three-year-old season.
The other standout three-year-old among the William Reid Stakes nominations this season is Group 1 winning filly I Am A Star at $11 for the win in pre-field markets.
Virage De Fortune (2006) over a decade ago was the last filly to win the race, and I Am A Star won her lead-up at Flemington on ‘Super Saturday’.
The Shane Nichols-trained youngster, who won the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) during the spring, finished first past the post narrowly for the punters in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) and will drop back in distance for the William Reid if accepted.
The other early $4.50 top fancy in the all-in William Reid Stakes betting markets along with Star Turn meanwhile is Spieth.
Bryce Heys prepares the Thorn Park four-year-old who was runner-up in the Darley Classic last spring and second to Terravista first-up in the Black Caviar Lightning.
Spieth went out as one of the best in the betting for the Newmarket Handicap a fortnight ago, but could only manage to run ninth, an effort he is tipped to improve on this weekend.
The other best out of the Newmarket Handicap, which has produced three of the past six William Reid Stakes winners, is the fourth-placed mare Sheidel.
Winner of the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day, the Lindsay Park-trained five-year-old was far from disgraced with her top four finish last start.
She’s got plenty of 1200m form (9-4-2-0) and returns to Moonee Valley on Friday night for the first time since a fourth at the track in Group 2 class last September.
Check out the full William Reid Stakes 2017 nominations below, the field and barriers for the autumn Group 1 due for release on Wednesday followed by updated odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 William Reid Stakes Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 24/03/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||933x242x11||BASSETT (NZ)||G||4||Mick Price||95|
|2||2x600x2117||DAL CIELO (NZ)||G||4||Kris Lees||93|
|3||1117×232||ECHO EFFECT||G||3||Kristen Buchanan||80|
|7||154231×271||I AM A STAR (NZ)||F||3||Shane Nichols||105|
|8||21x1212x50||ILLUSTRIOUS LAD||G||5||Peter Gelagotis||104|
|10||x10x3021x8||KAEPERNICK||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||102|
|11||360×221712||KURO (NZ)||G||5||Joseph Pride||105|
|13||94x236710x||REBEL DANE||H||7||Gary Portelli||111|
|14||3x3221123x||ROCK MAGIC||G||7||Chris Gangemi||105|
|15||27024x167x||SECRET AGENDA||M||4||Mick Price||100|
|16||x421152x14||SHEIDEL||M||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||111|
|17||12x231x212||SILENT SEDITION||M||4||Andrew Noblet||105|
|19||0111x12x29||SPIETH (NZ)||H||4||Bryce Heys||109|
|20||56x1213x33||STAR TURN||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||109|
|21||3397293235||SUNDAY ESCAPE||G||6||Andrew Murray||81|
|22||667x1310x4||SWEET SHERRY||F||3||Paul Banks||80|
|23||42x256Px1x||TARGET IN SIGHT||G||7||Joseph Pride||105|
|24||1539x146x0||THE QUARTERBACK||G||6||Robbie Griffiths||108|
|25||842990×613||WELL SPRUNG||G||4||Lyn Tolson & Leonie Proctor||92|