A talented field of seventeen runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
An impressive last-start winner, Team Hawkes has nominated Entirely Platinum for the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes.
A standout performer of his in-form stable through the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival, Entirely Platinum completed an exceptional run of three consecutive race wins upon returning to the track this year including the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (1900m) on March 22nd.
Returning to the paddock after finishing a credible fourth when unfortunately blocked for a run in the final straight of the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Open (2000m) on April 5th, the Pentire gelding charged home to beat a talented field in the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on August 16th and will be more than a chance of second-up success if allocated a favourable barrier.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes is classy performer Criterion.
Unlucky not to break through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Criterion more than stamped his claims as a serious black type contender in finishing second in both the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and an impressive fourth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
Returning in 2014 in career-best form to date, the Sebring entire finishing fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) first-up before charging home to finish second to Shamus Award in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) just two weeks later.
Appearing out of sorts when a disappointing eighth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th, Criterion responded in the best way possible in winning both the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) back-to-back.
Charging home to place an impressive third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (2400m) first-up on August 23rd, all signs point towards another polished performance from Criterion in the Chelmsford Stakes.
Trainer Chris Waller is poised to dominate the final field for the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes, nominating a total of eight of his stable’s stars including the likes of Our Voodoo Prince, Sacred Falls and Weary.
Contesting an impressive total of six race wins and as many minor places from 21 competitive starts so far, Our Voodoo Prince began his racing career under the guidance of renowned British trainer Ed Dunlop before transferring to the care of Waller at the conclusion of 2013.
Securing a perfect record of three wins from as many starts, including the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) in his maiden Australian campaign through autumn, the Kingmambo gelding was unable to figure when failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) first-up on August 23rd, but will without doubt improve over increasing distances.
Finishing fourth in the Warwick Stakes first-up, Sacred Falls was a standout over the 2014 autumn season; unlucky to finish fourth in both the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) first-up before successfully defending his 2013 victory in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Returning to the paddock after finishing second to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 19th, Waller is confident the race conditions of the Chelmsford Stakes will play into the strengths of Sacred Falls this weekend.
Failing to finish outside the places in five starts over autumn, talented French import Weary more than stamped his claims as a leading spring contender in winning the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) and finishing second in both the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 26th.
Yet to figure in contention over two black type starts this time in, Waller is confident Weary will be far better for the competitive runs and is expecting a polished performance in the Chelmsford Stakes.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Chelmsford Stakes Nominations
|2||CANNY BALLAD||Joseph Pride||92|
|3||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||110|
|4||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||103|
|6||HOOKED||John P Thompson||96|
|7||IGGI POP (NZ)||John Sargent||93|
|8||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||105|
|9||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||102|
|10||KITTEN ON THE RUN (USA)||Peter G Moody||92|
|11||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||109|
|12||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||104|
|13||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||108|
|14||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||Chris Waller||100|
|15||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||111|
|16||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|
|17||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||106|