The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Sydney’s hottest trainer Chris Waller will look to continue his stranglehold of the new season’s premiership markets after nominating for five from his stable in Saturday’s Missile Stakes 2014.
The opening Group race of the 2014-15 season, this weekend the $175,000 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) will take centre stage at Royal Randwick.
Waller, who secured his fourth consecutive Sydney trainer’s premiership title last week, sent out an early warning last weekend preparing the $100,000 Winter Challenge (1500m) trifecta.
He’s back in force then seven days later with a handful nominated for the Missile Stakes, betting for which is sure to be fierce at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Waller is yet to confirm which of his runners will accept and which will be saved for later returns, however it is expected he will run both Weary and Group 3 winner Kencella.
Weary is the headliner of those following an ace spring by the French import that included a Doncaster Mile third to stablemate Sacred Falls and a last start second behind Japanese mare in the All Aged Stakes on April 26.
His Group 1 winning trio of Boban, Foreteller and Hawkspur though could bypass the Missile and go first-up in one of two future races.
The Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) back at the track on August 23 is one option or alternatively they could go straight to elite level for a shot at the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) seven days later at Caulfield.
Outside of Waller’s contingent there’s plenty of other talent with a host of spring carnival stars kicking off their campaigns.
One of the best is the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane racing for the first time since their seventh in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in Brisbane on June 7.
It’s been a while between drinks for the California Dane stallion, Rebel Dane not having won a race since the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) last September, but Portelli is sure they’re ready for improvement this spring.
Another returning Group 1 champion in the mix is the local John Sargent-trained Kiwi import Kirramosa who missed the autumn with fetlock problems.
The four-year-old Alamosa mare kicked off her career in New Zealand before coming to Australia this time last year.
On Aussie soil she’s been a real gem for Sargent, once he got her up over more distance especially, and was last seen securing a Flemington Melbourne Cup Carnival double with a victory in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) in early November.
She’s got even bigger targets this time in however and will be nominated for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups when entries close tomorrow.
Also with excellent form last spring and a chance to return here are the John O’Shea-trained Sidestep and Gai Waterhouse’s Sweet Idea.
Godolphin-owned Exceed And Excel stallion Sidestep added to their stud value with back-to-back black-type wins in the autumn including the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m).
Sweet Idea meanwhile has been one of the most honest mares of her age winning a host of nice races, finishing third in last year’s Golden Slipper and more recently running second to Steps In Time in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill back in March.
Joe Pride meanwhile has two Missile Stakes nominees in the former Waterhouse-trained Rosehill Guineas winner from 2012 Laser Hawk back from a tendon injury and gun sprinter Tiger Tees who took at The Galaxy in Sydney back in March.
See below for the full Missile Stakes 2014 nominations, the final field due for release on Wednesday.
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2014 Missile Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick – 09/08/2014
|2||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||113|
|5||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||102|
|6||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||109|
|7||MAJOR MAJOR||Bryce Heys||65|
|8||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||107|
|9||MISS PROMISCUITY||Anthony Cummings||78|
|10||RARE RUBY||Bryce Heys||74|
|11||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||111|
|13||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||106|
|15||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||109|
|16||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||106|
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