Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
A host of 2020 Cox Plate-nominated gallopers head the early entries for the Group 2 $250,000 John F. Feehan Stakes (1600m) as the race towards Australasia’s weight-for-age championship gets underway at The Valley.
Saturday racing in Melbourne is headlined by the Group 2 $250,000 John F. Feehan Stakes (1600m), an early spring feature formerly known as the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
The weight-for-age clash is also a key stepping stone towards the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) offering the winner a ballot exemption, with El Segundo (2007) the last horse to complete the double.
This year’s Cox Plate runs back at Moonee Valley on October 24 and of the 17 John F. Feehan Stakes 2020 entries taken on Monday, 12 hold a nomination for the $5 million classic.
The John F. Feehan Stakes hopefuls heading towards a potential Cox Plate bid are: Dalasan, Exasperate, Harbour Views, Humidor, Kings Will Dream, Mahamedeis, Master Of Wine, Regal Power, Sircconi, So Si Bon, Surprise Baby and Vanna Girl.
Of those, the standout in all-in Cox Plate 2020 betting at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au include All-Star Mile champion Regal Power ($15), one-time Caulfield Cup favourite Master Of Wine ($21) and Adelaide star Dalasan ($34).
The Grant & Alana Williams-trained Regal Power presents fit third-up should connections accept him for the short seven-day turnaround, the Pierro five-year-old sure to appreciate getting back up to his pet distance.
He is undefeated with a perfect three-from-three record over 1600m ahead of the Group 2 and comes off two warm-up runs over 1400m at Caulfield when ninth in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes and 12th beating home just one other runner in last Saturday’s Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
The Hawkes Racing-trained Master Of Wine is looking to atone for his first-up disappointment in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick behind Verry Elleegant.
The team are hoping a trip to Melbourne does the trick, despite the import not having raced in Victoria since May last year when having his opening two Australian starts at Sandown-Hillside.
SA Derby runner-up Dalasan comes off a string of solid runs at home, the Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained entire having been hampered by big weights when second and third respectively in his opening two runs as a four-year-old at home this prep.
Pre-field betting on the John F. Feehan Stakes meanwhile is led by Matthew Williams’ lightly-raced French-bred gelding Harbour Views ($3.70) with all-in 2020 Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby ($4) following closely.
The Paul Preusker-trained son of 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, Surprise Baby has his first start since the eye-catching fifth to Vow And Declare in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last November.
Chris Waller’s first-up P.B. Lawrence Stakes third placegetter Kings Will Dream ($8), the in-form Nick Ryan-trained Mahamedeis ($8) up in grade and the ultra-consistent Coming Around ($9) are also all being kept safe in the early markets ahead of what is shaping up as an intriguing edition of the Feehan.
Final acceptances revealing the John F. Feehan Stakes field are announced on Wednesday morning with futures markets available here in the meantime.
2020 John F. Feehan Stakes Nominations
|Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|2||5x6111x212||COMING AROUND||G||5||Brent Stanley||90|
|3||3555112×23||DALASAN||H||4||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||103|
|5||x112x3314x||HARBOUR VIEWS (FR)||G||6||Matthew Williams||94|
|6||05496x085x||HUMIDOR (NZ)||G||8||Chris Waller||106|
|7||23131037×3||JUNIPAL||G||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||87|
|8||66x32050x3||KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||109|
|10||2311x114x0||MASTER OF WINE (GER)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||108|
|11||161x421x90||REGAL POWER||G||5||Grant & Alana Williams||112|
|12||32x651121x||SHOT OF IRISH||G||6||Richard Laming||94|
|14||4644116×45||SO SI BON||G||7||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||106|
|15||9x3210x270||STREETS OF AVALON||G||6||Shane Nichols||108|
|16||14132x415x||SURPRISE BABY (NZ)||G||6||Paul Preusker||108|
|17||141121111x||VANNA GIRL||M||4||Toby & Trent Edmonds||95|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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