24 talented horses have been included in nominations for Saturday’s Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by the pending appearance of some of the Spring Carnival’s most exciting prospects.
Chris Waller saddled Junoob to success in the 2014 edition of the Hill Stakes, and is set to dominate the 2015 edition of the races after nominating eleven of his stable stars for the Group 2, including the carry-over champion, Beaten Up and Preferment.
Posting ten wins and a further eight minors through 39 career starts so far, Junoob undoubtedly found career-best form to date through the 2014 Spring Carnival; winning the Naturalism and Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) most notably.
Beaten Up has returned to racing in typically competitive form this time and will relish a step-up to 2000m for the 2015 Hill Stakes.
Posting several impressive results through autumn, highlighted by a third place finish in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m), Beaten Up returned this time for a close fourth in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m); progressing to a luckless eighth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) last start.
Capping a strong 2014 spring campaign with success in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), Preferment was unable to reach the same racing highs through autumn other than a close run for second in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), but is sure to have taken condition from a first-up appearance in the Chelmsford Stakes.
Kris Lees has set Protectionist for a defence of his Melbourne Cup title this season and has been included in nominations for a second-up run in the 2015 Hill Stakes.
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of notable German trainer Andreas Wohler, Protectionist debuted in Australia for a credible fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) before posting a near-five length victory in the Melbourne Cup.
While unable to make much of an impact through autumn, Lees is confident the Monsun entire is in far-better shape leading into his spring targets.
The 2015 Hill Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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2015 Hill Stakes Nominations
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||141x6857x0||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||H||6||Kris Lees||1||59kg||114|
|3||103x5442x7||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||2=||59kg||109|
|4||x800530x48||BEATEN UP (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||4=||59kg||107|
|5||1x80429x00||MORIARTY (IRE)||G||8||Chris Waller||4=||59kg||107|
|6||9698464×79||FORETELLER (GB)||G||9||Chris Waller||6=||59kg||106|
|7||3311x6x0x0||GALLANTE (IRE)||H||5||Robert Hickmott||6=||59kg||106|
|8||1x889431x0||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||6=||59kg||106|
|9||70x0084x75||JUNOOB (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||6=||59kg||106|
|10||0160x82Px0||OPINION (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||6=||59kg||106|
|11||1×18821141||BEYOND THANKFUL (IRE)||G||6||Chris Waller||11=||59kg||104|
|12||x2237x421x||BONFIRE (GB)||G||7||Gai Waterhouse||11=||59kg||104|
|13||21x03336x9||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||G||10||Chris Waller||11=||59kg||104|
|14||7x0556x5x0||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||G||10||James Cummings||11=||59kg||104|
|15||421x0628x0||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||11=||58kg||104|
|17||134321x6x1||CHANCE TO DANCE (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||17||59kg||100|
|18||4x078160x0||TREMEC (NZ)||G||7||John P Thompson||18||59kg||97|
|19||4x00x86123||KAPOUR (IRE)||G||6||Ciaron Maher||19||59kg||96|
|20||13955×1431||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||G||6||John O’Shea||20||59kg||95|
|21||154x2121x6||BOHEMIAN LILY (NZ)||M||4||Gai Waterhouse||21||56kg||86|
|22||4111×41191||ASTRONOMOS (GB)||H||5||David Vandyke||22||59kg||85|
|23||x063373622||JUST AS COSMIC||M||6||Jason Coyle||23||57kg||84|