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Dominant Sydney-based horseman Chris Waller will be out to add to his imposing record in the Summer Cup 2019 on Boxing Day with three of the 15 early entries for the December 26 feature at Royal Randwick.
Waller has prepared three of the past six Summer Cup winners, most recently Montauk in 2017, and is back with another strong contingent this Sydney Summer Racing Carnival.
A key feature on the Boxing Day race program, the Group 3 $160,000 Summer Cup (2000m) attracted 15 nominations with the Waller-trained Alward the topweight with 59kg.
Waller’s dual champion I’m Imposing for his second in 2014 was the last to carry that weight to victory.
Alward has won two of his last three runs including the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on November 30.
He was last seen finishing four lengths back sixth behind Morton’s Fork at Randwick on December 14 in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) and should appreciate the drop back to 2000m in the Summer Cup.
The other potential Waller runners in the mix are recent $500,000 Rosehill Cup (2000m) third placegetter The Lord Mayor and Black On Gold who ran second to his stablemate in the ATC Cup last time out.
The Matthew Smith-trained Fierce Impact (2018) took out last year’s Summer Cup before enjoying a career best spring campaign completing the Group 1 Toorak Handicap – Cantala Stakes double in Melbourne.
Smith returns this year looking for back-to-back Summer Cup victories with his five-year-old mare Aqua D’Ivina.
The well-bred daughter of Pierro has won five of her 14 career starts to date including two from four at the Randwick track, but is yet to win over further than 1800m.
Her last run was over the mile in top company when ninth as a roughie hope behind Quackerjack in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m), which she will be out to improve on come the Boxing Day races.
The only other mare nominated for this season’s Summer Cup is the highly-rated Mastercraftsman five-year-old Luvaluva from the local stables of John Sargent.
A winner of over $680,000 in prize money, the Group 2 winner is out to break a notable drought not having won a race since her Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic – Adrian Knox Stakes double back in the autumn of 2018.
Luvaluva caught the eye on November 23 at Kembla Grange in the inaugural $1 million The Gong (1600m) finishing only one and a half lengths back sixth behind Mister Sea Wolf but goes up from 53kg to 56.5kg for the Summer Cup.
Other key Summer Cup nominations include last start Brisbane Handicap runner-up at Doomben Sir Plush and the Joe Pride-trained ATC Cup third placegetter Tamarack who was scratched from the Randwick races on Saturday in favour of the Group 3 on Thursday.
2019 Summer Cup Nominations & Weights
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||True Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||5781623116||ALWARD (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||1||59kg||59kg||99|
|2||823854×256||LUVALUVA (NZ)||M||5||John Sargent||2||56.5kg||56.5kg||98|
|3||7421×06072||SIR PLUSH (NZ)||G||7||Bjorn Baker||3=||58kg||58kg||97|
|4||41100×4037||THE LORD MAYOR (NZ)||G||5||Chris Waller||3=||58kg||58kg||97|
|5||43x745x682||BLACK ON GOLD||G||6||Chris Waller||5=||56.5kg||56.5kg||94|
|6||221400×394||TAIKOMOCHI||G||6||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||5=||56.5kg||56.5kg||94|
|7||x93328x920||LIVE AND FREE (NZ)||G||5||John O’Shea||7||55.5kg||55.5kg||92|
|8||1798×52033||TAMARACK (NZ)||G||6||Joseph Pride||8||54.5kg||54.5kg||90|
|9||10x60x9819||AQUA D’IVINA||M||5||Matthew Smith||9=||54kg||54kg||89|
|10||3720×85564||EMPEROR’S WAY||G||6||Peter & Paul Snowden||9=||54kg||54kg||89|
|12||2x1430x225||MUSHAIREB (GB)||G||6||Richard & Michael Freedman||12||54kg||54kg||80|
|13||329x700x07||SHALMANESER||G||9||Richard & Michael Freedman||13||54kg||54kg||78|
|14||x663170x67||OUR GRAVANO (NZ)||G||7||Kris Lees||14||54kg||54kg||71|
|15||4x3134x1x8||NATIONAL GUARD (USA)||H||4||Richard Litt||15||54kg||54kg||70|
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