John O’Shea’s smart first-up Apollo Stakes winner Contributer is after another Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival win this time at elite level in Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes 2015 at Warwick Farm Racecourse.
The Godolphin-owned High Chaparral five-year-old is an English import who caught the eye in his down under debut during the spring winning the Group 3 Coongy Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield before an eighth to Hucklebuck in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes.
After a spell the stallion had his maiden Sydney run on February 14 and was super impressive defeating Ninth Legion in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
Now he heads to another Sydney track and runs in tougher company, Contributer one of 16 nominations taken for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
The weight-for-age feature is shaping up as a cracking start to Group 1 racing in New South Wales for the season and O’Shea has also nominated for Hartnell.
The Authorized four-year-old, if accepted, has his first run on Aussie soil under race conditions but is a Group 3 winner back in England.
His last start was in September last year at Doncaster when seventh to Kingston Hill in the Group 1 St Leger Stakes (2900m).
He has had two official trials leading into the Chipping Norton, both at Warwick Farm, the latest being a win over Testashadow over 1200m on February 9.
Dominating the Chipping Norton Stakes nominations numbers-wise however is Sydney’s leading trainer and last year’s winning horseman Chris Waller.
Waller has a bumper nine nominations giving him more than half of the total numbers making up the early entries.
Included in the Waller contingent is the defending Chipping Norton Stakes winner Boban as well as last year’s third placegetter Hawkspur.
Bernardini five-year-old Boban hasn’t won a race since his Chipping Norton success 12 months ago, which was his third Group 1 victory following earlier wins in the 2013 Emirates Stakes and Epsom Handicap.
His latest two runs first and second up this autumn have both been disappointing when ninth to Weary in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) and then his seventh behind Contributer in the Apollo Stakes.
Waller has also nominated for Beaten Up, Foreteller, He’s Your Man, Junoob, the returning Opinion, Who Shot Thebarman and Weary.
Yamanin Vital six-year-old Who Shot Thebarman is first-up here in his first run since finishing a brave third behind German stayer Protectionist in the coveted Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
He has also won over 1600m so may not find the distance on Saturday too short first-up.
Weary meanwhile won the Expressway Stakes first-up in late January and then crossed under two lengths away third on Valentine’s Day to Contributer in the Apollo Stakes.
Other notable Apollo Stakes performers aside from the winner backing up in the Chipping Norton Stakes include the Team Hawkes-trained runner-up Ninth Legion who won the Listed Carrington Stakes the start before, Kris Lees’ Turnbull Stakes winning mare Lucia Valentina (4th) who is yet to win second-up and four-time Group 1 winner Silent Achiever (5th) who heads to France in October for the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
See below for the full Chipping Norton Stakes 2015 nominations, the final field and barrier draw out on Wednesday morning.
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2015 Chipping Norton Stakes Nominations
|1||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||109|
|3||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||109|
|4||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||97|
|6||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||113|
|7||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||100|
|9||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||110|
|10||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||108|
|11||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||111|
|12||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||105|
|13||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||104|
|14||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||116|
|15||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||108|
|16||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||108|
Warwick Farm Racecourse – 28/02/2015