Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
The Group 1 Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) field will be full of international middle-distance runners after Monday’s nominations revealed 18 of the 24 three-year-olds are from overseas, while just six got their start in Australia.
Top Sydney trainer Chris Waller has six entries in the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes, looking to dominate another spring race.
All six entries have been prominent on the spring racing scene, led by Foreteller.
The Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) winner will back up after running in the 2014 Cox Plate on Saturday, in which he was a fast-finishing fifth just half a length behind Adelaide.
He’s Your Man is the most in-form entry for the trainer, winning three of his last five starts and taking away a minor placing from the other two. He’s won his last two starts, the Group 3 King Town Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and will be one to watch.
Chelmsford Stakes winner Hawkspur, The Metropolitan winner Junoob, Craven Plate winner Moriarty, and Bart Cummings winner Who Shot Thebarman all feature among the nominations for Waller, though the latter is more suited to longer distances.
Contributer features among the 24 nominations, but trainer John O’Shea is not 100 per cent certain if he will take his place. He has already advised regular hoop James McDonald to take the ride on Rising Romance instead, who is definitely starting.
“Rising Romance is definitely going to the Mackinnon, we are still undecided what we are going to do with Contributer,” O’Shea told TVN.
“While we would have liked to have James on if we do run, there are other options.”
A decision on whether to run in the Mackinnon or wait another week for the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) will be made on Tuesday following track work.
The Irish import impressed at Caulfield on October 18, winning the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) in his Australian debut, but O’Shea is mindful of the race’s history.
“Historically the best race to run in is the Lexus, that is the best progression from the David Jones Cup but we aren’t going in that direction,” O’Shea said.
“The Mackinnon Stakes has been a bridge too far for winners of the Cup, even for subsequent multiple Group 1 winners.
“We are just trying to work out the right strategy for the horse.”
Rising Romance heads to the race with two runner-up finishes, including in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), partnering McDonald for the third consecutive time.
Robert Hickmott’s prestigious stablemates Green Moon and Sea Moon are both nominated for the Mackinnon Stakes, along with Caulfield Stakes runner-up Criterion, Turnbull Stakes third Brambles, and triple Group 1 third placer Side Glance.
The field limit of the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes is 18 plus four emergencies, so at least two of the talented entries will need to withdraw before the final field is announced on Wednesday.
Check out the full list of nominations below, then open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account to prepare for the market opening.
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2014 Mackinnon Stakes Nominations
|1||AMRALAH (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||104|
|2||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney||100|
|3||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||100|
|4||BRAMBLES (NZ)||Peter G Moody||105|
|5||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||104|
|6||COSTUME (NZ)||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson||104|
|7||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||112|
|8||FARRAAJ (IRE)||Roger Varian||105|
|9||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||113|
|10||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||111|
|11||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||113|
|13||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||109|
|15||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||108|
|16||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||99|
|17||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||107|
|19||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||108|
|20||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||105|
|21||SIDE GLANCE (GB)||Andrew Balding||112|
|22||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||103|
|23||STAR ROLLING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||104|
|24||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||107|
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