A star-studded list of gallopers have been nominated for the $350,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) this year, the event kick starting the Group 1 racing action of the Sydney Autumn Carnival this Saturday March 5 at Warwick Farm.
The 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes has drawn 15 nominations including defending champion Theseo and last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday.
Seven-year-old Danwin gelding Theseo, who scored a thrillingly close win in the Chipping Norton 12 months ago, is back to defend their title before vying for a record third consecutive win in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) next start at Rosehill on March 19.
Waterhouse has also nominated Caulfield Cup winner Descarado, four-year-old mare Once Were Wild and the injury prone Lorne Dancer for the 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes this Saturday.
The top-line entry in the Group 1 Warwick Farm feature is the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained Maluckyday.
Runner-up to Americain in the $6 million Melbourne Cup last start in November, Zabeel four-year-old Maluckyday is already the ante-post favourite to win the Melbourne Cup and resumes racing in the Chipping Norton on Saturday.
It is an impressive list of hopefuls that make up the Chipping Norton Stakes nominations this year, other notable runners heading towards the weight-for-age feature include:
– Centennial Park (David Payne): Thorn Park five-year-old in red hot form having won first-up in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) before placing third in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) last start at Rosehill on February 19
– Danleigh (Chris Waller): Group 1 winning seven-year-old still has claims here, will start at longer odds through Luxbet and could represent great value for an upset
– Melito (Gerald Ryan): Classy Redoute’s Choice mare hard to fault when winning the Apollo Stakes by nearly two lengths over Hot Danish last start, yet to win over 1600m but did place a close second over the mile at Caulfield in 2009
– Skilled (Peter Snowden): Three-year-old Commands colt having their third run for the year following two Group 2 third places in February, a Group 1 winner last year over the mile so will see plenty of support in the betting markets
The 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes final field of acceptors and barrier draw will be released tomorrow and published here so bookmark this site.
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2011 Chipping Norton Stakes Nominees
|1||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||108|
|3||DESCARADO (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||115|
|4||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||David Payne||108|
|5||LORNE DANCER||Gai Waterhouse||105|
|6||LUEN YAT FOREVER||Peter G Moody||105|
|7||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||106|
|9||METAL BENDER (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|
|10||ONCE WERE WILD||Gai Waterhouse||108|
|11||SACRED CHOICE||Joseph Pride||110|
|14||VISION AND POWER (NZ)||Joseph Pride||106|
|15||ZAVITE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||108|