The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The John O’Shea-trained mare Fitou is one of the headline nominations taken for the Tibbie Stakes 2016 held at Newcastle Racecourse this Friday.
One of three Group races on the Newcastle Gold Cup Day program, this season’s $125,000 Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1350m) has attracted 16 fillies and mares at nomination stage.
Sitting high up the Tibbie Stakes ballot for the set weights plus penalties middle-distance sprint is the Godolphin-raced Fitou, the five-year-old daughter of Street Cry chasing back-to-back stakes wins.
She enjoyed a first-up victory at Wyong on September 2 in the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes (1350m) run on a Heavy (10) track, and will be right in the mix over the same distance in provincial NSW again if there’s rain around on Friday.
The Mona Lisa Stakes placegetters behind Fitou last start are also both nominated for a Friday rematch in the Tibbie Stakes with the Tracey Bartley-trained Tears In Heaven (2nd) and the Gerald Ryan-trained La Muse (3rd).
Heading the Tibbie Stakes order of entry and weights is the Kris Lees-trained Savoureux (57kg).
A five-year-old daughter of Nadeem, Savoureux chases her first win since the Group 3 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m) at Randwick in early March and is out to atone for her last (14th) to Heavens Above in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) last Saturday.
Local Newcastle trainer Lees has a total of four Tibbie Stakes nominees this year with Savoureux joined in the potential field by Fashion Sniptz, Oh So Assertive and Little Shocker.
The sole three-year-old nominated to take on the older mares in the race this spring, Shocking filly Little Shocker is a nicely-bred improver coming off back-to-back Class 1 and 2 wins.
The latest at Kempsey on September 5 saw her salute over 1250m by four lengths earning her a shot in tougher company this Friday.
Lees has confirmed all four of his nominees for the $175,000 Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2200m) on Friday would accept for the challenge, but he was unsure yet which of his mares he would accept into the Tibbie Stakes field.
“She didn’t have any luck on Saturday and it was a little bit inconclusive, so if she handles the back-up, she’s probably the one [to run on Friday],” he told The Herald Sun speaking of Savoureux.
Other notable hopes include Mona Lisa Stakes fourth-placegetter Frill Seeking, the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained New Zealand expat Replique in her first run down under and Cana who is a dual winner over the distance.
Also coming off gun lead-up form in easier class races is the Kristen Buchanan-trained five-year-old Oakfield Sunrise who saluted over 1300m and 1500m respectively at Hawksbury in her two latest runs.
Check out the full Tibbie Stakes 2016 nominations and ballot below before the final field and betting odds from Ladbrokes.com.au are released on Wednesday.
2016 Tibbie Stakes Nominations
Newcastle Racecourse – 16/09/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|2||6622333×31||ROCKET COMMANDER||M||5||Matthew Dale||2||56kg||90|
|4||322x0013x7||KELLYVILLE FLYER||M||7||Jason Attard||4||55kg||82|
|5||444×958324||FRILL SEEKING||M||6||Matthew Smith||5||55kg||78|
|6||6x94121x||REPLIQUE (NZ)||M||4||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||6||56kg||75|
|7||x63464x269||CANA||M||4||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||7=||55kg||73|
|8||x8904x4212||TEARS IN HEAVEN||M||6||Tracey Bartley||7=||55kg||73|
|9||22831168x||NO PUSHOVER (NZ)||M||4||Craig Ritchie||9=||56kg||72|
|10||42x224550x||SPIRIT BIRD (NZ)||M||4||James Cummings||9=||55kg||72|
|11||15147×633||LA MUSE||M||5||Gerald Ryan||11||55kg||70|
|13||x1496x6514||FASHION SNIPTZ||M||4||Kris Lees||13=||55kg||66|
|14||x50280x550||OH SO ASSERTIVE (NZ)||M||6||Kris Lees||13=||55kg||66|
|15||777×522211||OAKFIELD SUNRISE||M||5||Kristen Buchanan||15=||55kg||64|
|16||4x43x1911||LITTLE SHOCKER (NZ)||F||3||Kris Lees||15=||54kg||64|
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