A talented field of 15 runners have been nominated for this weekend’s Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several previous champions at the highest level of Australian racing.
Trainer Chris Waller is set to dominate the final field for the 2014 Hill Stakes, nominating no fewer of his stable’s stars including the likes of Foreteller, Hawkspur and Moriarty.
Contesting a commendable record of ten wins and seven minor places from 44 competitive starts so far, Foreteller was a standout performer over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, breaking through for a maiden Group 1 victory in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and continuing to build towards a strong second in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) most notably.
Returning in autumn in similarly competitive form, the Dansili gelding finished a credible fourth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) first-up before running on for a strong third in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) most notably on March 8th.
Running on for fourth in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up on August 16th and finished third in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 6th, Foreteller is a great chance of returning to the winner’s circle in the 2014 Hill Stakes.
Touted as one to watch over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival after an impressive winter prep, Hawkspur was unable to completely live up to the hype which seemed to follow his campaign from race to race; fading to finish 20th in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November.
Finishing third in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and fourth in both the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) most notably over autumn, the Purrealist gelding has quickly built to the task over three times this time in; finishing seventh in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) first-up and fifth in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) most recently.
Building to a high standard over his most recent preparation, Moriarty has also been nominated for races at Caulfield this weekend as well as the featured Group 1 Underwood Stakes on the same Randwick card on Saturday.
Claiming eleven wins and 12 minor places from 46 competitive starts, the Clodovil gelding has returned to the track in great form this year; finishing third in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 22nd and continuing to build in form on his way to victory in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) and second in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup most notably.
Finishing fifth in both the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) and Chelmsford Stakes this time, Waller will use Wednesday’s final fields and barrier draws to decide on which avenue to take with Moriarty this weekend.
One of the autumn’s standout performers, trainer David Payne has included Criterion in nominations for the 2014 Hill Stakes.
Claiming five wins and as many minor places from just 18 competitive starts so far, Criterion was unlucky not to break through for a race win over five races through the 2013 spring; finishing second in bout the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
Returning to racing in career-best form this year, the Sebring entire finished a fighting fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) first-up and second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 1st, and while appearing to be outclassed when eighth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th, responded in the best way possible in winning both the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) back-to-back.
The final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Hill Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Hill Stakes Nominations
|1||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||1||59kg||112|
|3||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||3||58kg||110|
|4||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||4||59kg||108|
|6||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||5=||59kg||105|
|7||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||7=||59kg||103|
|9||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||7=||59kg||103|
|10||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||10||57kg||100|
|11||WISH COME TRUE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||11||59kg||98|
|12||MULTILATERAL (USA)||Chris Waller||12||59kg||96|
|13||DEANE MARTIN (NZ)||Bruce Wallace||13||59kg||93|
|14||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||14||58kg||90|