The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
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.
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.
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).
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|
|18||3x522845x7||TORGERSEN (NZ)||G||4||Chris Waller||88|
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