Luke Currie rides Hey Doc to victory in the 2017 Manikato Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)

Nominations close for Spring Racing Carnival features

Nominations have today closed for a quartet of Group 1 races set to headline feature race meetings at Flemington and The Valley throughout the Spring Racing Carnival.

The 165th running of the $2 million AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on 2 November has attracted 84 entries, while the $1 million Kennedy Oaks (2500m), at the same track five days later, has received 95 nominations for its 161st edition.

The $2 million Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on 9 November, has attracted a cavalcade of speedsters among its 59 entries, many of whom also feature among the 50 entries received today for the $1 million Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on 25 October.


Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) – The Valley, 25 October 2019

One of three Group 1 sprints held annually under lights at The Valley, the Manikato Stakes headlines the opening meeting of the two-day Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival.

A total of 12 Group 1 winners feature among the entries including last year’s runner-up In Her Time and 2017 winner Hey Doc.

Godolphin’s head trainer James Cummings has nine of the 50 entries including star older horses Alizee, Osborne Bulls and Trekking and brilliant three-year-olds Bivouac, Exhilarates and Microphone.

Chris Waller has entered the flying Nature Strip, Yes Yes Yes and Kubrick – the latter pair among 12 three-year-olds entries – while New Zealand-trained Queensland winter sensation The Bostonian also features.

First acceptances for the Manikato Stakes will be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 8 October.




Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) – Flemington, 9 November 2019

The Darley Sprint Classic, the headline sprint of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, carries record prizemoney of $2 million this year – up from $1 million 12 months ago.

Among the 59 entries – the same as 2018 – is Coolmore’s Irish raider Ten Sovereigns (Aidan O’Brien), a northern hemisphere three-year-old who won the Group 1 July Cup (1200m) in the UK this year. He also holds an entry for the Manikato Stakes.

With 16 Group 1 winners and 15 three-year-olds among the entries, many of the horses nominated for the Darley Sprint Classic also feature among the entries for the Manikato Stakes.

Those horses entered for the Darley Sprint Classic only include the past two winners Santa Ana Lane (2018) and Redzel (2017); fellow The Everest slotholders Enticing Star, Pierata and Sunlight; boom three-year-old filly Libertini and pint-sized Tasmanian star The Inevitable.

First acceptances for the Darley Sprint Classic will be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 22 October.




AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) – Flemington, 2 November 2019

The AAMI Victoria Derby, the nation’s oldest three-year-old classic, is one of four Group 1 races offering a $1 million or more on the opening day of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.

Cranbourne-based trainer Trent Busuttin, who prepared Sangster to win the 2011 Victoria Derby and now trains in partnership Natalie Young, have an equal race-high nine entries including promising colt The Holy One.

The Lindsay Park training triumvirate of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig also have nine entries headlined by Power Scheme and Byerley Handicap (1800m) winner Huntly Castle.

Astute New Zealand horseman Murray Baker, who prepared Lion Tamer to win the 2010 Victoria Derby, and his training partner Andrew Forsman have three entries including highly touted last start Group 3 winner Quick Thinker.

Group 3 Dulcify Stakes winner Just Thinkin’ (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) and eye-catching third placegetter Shadow Hero (Mark Newnham) are among the notable interstate entries.

First acceptances for the Victoria Derby will be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 22 October.




Kennedy Oaks (2500m) – Flemington, 7 November 2019

The premier staying classic for three-year-old fillies, the $1 million Kennedy Oaks, will spearhead a revamped third day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.

The dual-state training operation of Tony and Calvin McEvoy has submitted a race high eight entries including Marndarra who steps out in the Kennedy Oaks Trial (1800m) at Flemington tomorrow.

Lindsay Park has seven fillies entered for the Oaks, while Godolphin’s head trainer James Cummings has nominated five including Flit and Tenley.

Other entries of note include Danny O’Brien’s Miami Bound, Saturday’s eye-catching Sydney Group 2 placegetter Probabeel (Jamie Richards) and the favourite for tomorrow’s Oaks Trial, Celestial Falls (Mark Newnham).

First acceptances for the Kennedy Oaks will be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 22 October.