A total of 32 horses have been nominated for the Ladbrokes Showdown (1200m), the new $1 million race for two-year-olds which makes its debut on Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday at Caulfield this Saturday (27 April).
Named after the legendary stallion of the 1970s, the Ladbrokes Showdown is only open to the two-year-old progeny of Victorian-based stallions nominated for the VOBIS Sires Race Series.
The impressive entry list is headlined by Hightail, trained in Sydney by the father-son partnership of Peter and Paul Snowden. The gelded son of Victoria’s leading stallion Written Tycoon has amassed $273,240 in prizemoney from six career starts, including two wins.
One of the most exciting runners is Prince of Sussex, the precocious sprinter who lived up to his regal billing with a dominant performance in the VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) on Bendigo’s Golden Mile Race Day last month.
Prince of Sussex announced himself as a potential star of the future with an effortless victory for Mornington trainer Matt Laurie and jockey Mick Dee, and the $137,500 winner’s cheque guaranteed the gelding a start in the inaugural edition of the Ladbrokes Showdown.
Prince of Sussex was sired by leading imported stallion Toronado, who stands at Swettenham Stud and boasts the highest number of nominations for the Ladbrokes Showdown, with five of his progeny amongst the entry list. Starspangledbanner, who like Toronado has a win at Royal Ascot on his impressive resumé, comes next with four of his progeny nominated for the race.
Other runners in contention to take out the $500,000 first prize include Geraldine’s Jewel, a bargain buy at last year’s Inglis Melbourne VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale. Trainer Mark Ashby, who named Geraldine’s Jewel after his mother, paid just $5,500 for the daughter of Helmet, and it proved a very shrewd investment when she won on her debut at Sandown last month.
At the other end of the scale, Sisstar was bought for $600,000 – twice the price of her famous sister Sunlight, who has won three Group 1s for trainer Tony McEvoy.
The Lindsay Park training team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have entered four horses including Mishe Mokwa, an impressive debut winner at Mornington earlier this month; and Fiorente’s Girl who, as her name would suggest, was sired by the 2013 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Fiorente.
“We are delighted with the quality and depth of the nominations received for the first ever running of the Ladbrokes Showdown,” said Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing.
“The VOBIS program offers breeders and owners incredible incentives to race their horses in Victoria, and with $1 million in prizemoney and bonuses up for grabs, it is no surprise that the Ladbrokes Showdown has attracted some highly talented sprinters.
“Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday is a great celebration of the thoroughbred industry in this state, and the Ladbrokes Showdown is the headline act on what promises to be a fascinating day of high-quality racing at Caulfield next Saturday.”
With seven VOBIS Gold Premier Races scheduled and more than $2.5 million in prizemoney and bonuses on offer, Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday is one of the state’s premier off-season meetings.
Other contests include the $250,000 Newmarket Grandwest VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m), won for the past two years by trainer Udyta Clarke’s stable star, Rich Charm.
The acceptances deadline for all races, including the Ladbrokes Showdown, is 9.30am this Wednesday (24 April). The Ladbrokes Showdown will feature a field of 16 runners, with four emergencies.
The full list of nominations for the Ladbrokes Showdown in ballot order is as follows:
1 Hightail (Peter & Paul Snowden)
2 Prince Of Sussex (Matt Laurie)
3 Lucifer's Reward (Brendan McCarthy)
4 Stand To Attention (Leon & Troy Corstens)
5 Magnicity (Robbie Griffiths)
6 Groot (Ciaron Maher & David Eustace)
7 Geraldine's Jewel (Mark Ashby)
8 Capito (Michael Kent)
9 Flostar (Clinton McDonald)
10 Heka Express (Leon & Troy Corstens)
11= Sisstar (Tony McEvoy)
11= Oh So Rewarding (Brendan McCarthy)
13 Mishe Mokwa (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig)
14 First Dawn (David & Coral Feek)
15 Free Thrills (Leon & Troy Corstens)
16 Sartorial Splendor (John Sadler)
17 Angel Rock (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig)
18 Three Legs In (Ciaron Maher & David Eustace)
19 Judgement (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig)
20 Fiorente's Girl (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig)
21 Knowles (Jason Warren)
22= Force Ten (Peter Donnelly)
22= The Pugilist (Tony McEvoy)
24 Sweeping The Board (Mick Price)
25 Our Guardian Angel (Colin Little)
26= Marcada (Gavin Bedggood)
26= Mrs Whitten (Cindy Alderson)
26= Huffington (Phillip Stokes)
26= Sunset Sally (Tony Parker)
26= Magnajet (Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young)
26= Hampz (Kevin Corstens)
26= Heavenly Light Scott Brunton