2017 Ajax Stakes Nominations Feature Doncaster Mile Hopes

March 6, 2017

2017 Ajax Stakes Nominations Feature Doncaster Mile Hopes

A host of middle-distance autumn horses eying a Doncaster Mile ballot exemption are nominated for the Ajax Stakes 2017 this Saturday in Sydney on Coolmore Classic Day.

It's Somewhat

It’s Somewhat defends his title in the 2017 Ajax Stakes if accepted for the Rosehill Group 2 on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart.

Nominations for this autumn’s $200,000 Group 2 Hyland Ajax Stakes (1500m) have been extended by Racing NSW after Monday saw eighteen early entries for the quality handicap.

The Ajax Stakes winner gets a ballot free ride into the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 1 and a number of the runners on Saturday are looking to make the field for that ‘The Championships’ feature.

Currently the two shortest-priced Ajax Stakes hopefuls in futures Doncaster Mile betting at Ladbrokes.com.au are the Lindsay Park-trained stablemates Dibayani ($26) and He’s Our Rokkii ($26).

Shamardal seven-year-old Dibayani races in the Ajax Stakes second-up following a distant ninth behind superstar mare Winx in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 13.

He has been freshened-up since and should be improving off that in his first Rosehill Gardens run since a fourth in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) last March.

Dibayani has plenty of other smart Group 1 form including his Chipping Norton Stakes 2016 second to Winx and second behind Haruaki in last October’s Epsom Handicap making him a livewire chance this weekend.

The fellow David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained He’s Our Rokkii is third-up on the weekend after two unplaced Group 1 Caulfield runs over 1400m.

He ran 3.3 lengths back eighth in the CF Orr Stakes and 2.55 lengths away seventh behind Black Heart Bart in the Futurity Stakes, and could stay on in Melbourne on Saturday for a Flemington run in the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).

The other highest-rated Ajax Stakes nominee for 2017 is the Chris Waller-trained Arod, a six-year-old import who ran second in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) in the mud at Randwick last start.

That was an improved effort off his dead last (12th) in the CF Orr Stakes and Arod currently pays $34 in futures Doncaster Mile betting to hand Waller a seventh win in the Group 1 and fifth on the trot.

John O’Shea and the Godolphin stable have entered the defending Ajax Stakes winner It’s Somewhat for a first-up run this weekend.

The Dynaformer six-year-old took out the race second-up last March also winning the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) a fortnight later.

Third in Brisbane’s Doomben Cup last winter, It’s Somewhat hasn’t raced since a Group 3 third at Caulfield last October and if successful on Saturday will be the first back-to-back Ajax Stakes winner since Confiscate (1998-99).

It’s Somewhat is out to be the first successive Ajax Stakes champion since Confiscate (1998-99)

Other key nominees including the in-form Queensland visitor Cylinder Beach, lightly-raced Reset three-year-old Echo Effect who ran second in the Hobartville Stakes last time out and Gary Portelli’s recent Magic Millions Cup winner on the Gold Coast Testashadow.

See below for the early Ajax Stakes 2017 nominations, the field and betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au on the Doncaster Mile lead-up out on Wednesday.

2017 Ajax Stakes Nominations

Rosehill Gardens – 11/03/2017

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp. Rating
1 3x00352x02 AROD (IRE) H 6 Chris Waller 107
2 7x0x96341x BRING LUCK G 5 Amanda Turner & Mauro Poletti 75
3 x1290x1211 CYLINDER BEACH (NZ) G 4 Desleigh Forster 103
4 249×232924 DIBAYANI (IRE) G 7 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 106
5 1117×232 ECHO EFFECT G 3 Kristen Buchanan 82
6 14x120143x FLOODLIGHT (USA) H 4 John O’Shea 84
7 11x1110x87 HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ) G 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 108
8 124×619155 I TOLD GEORGIE M 4 Danny Williams 70
9 1653x4313x IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA) G 6 John O’Shea 108
10 x561019x77 LEEBAZ (NZ) G 7 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 108
11 110x7111x6 NEW TIPPERARY G 4 Joseph Pride 88
12 1182×53 NO DOUBT H 4 Anthony Cummings 68
13 276×771566 SHUTTER BUG M 5 Danny Williams 67
14 2x145x227x SINGING (FR) H 7 Kris Lees 97
15 9x6781040x SLOW PACE (USA) G 9 Kris Lees 91
16 13x68x2305 SOLD FOR SONG M 4 Kevin Kemp 90
17 1x1782x163 TESTASHADOW G 5 Gary Portelli 101
18 3x522845x7 TORGERSEN (NZ) G 4 Chris Waller 88

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