A classy list of seventeen runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
Having each returned to racing in typically strong form this time in, trainer Chris Waller has included both Hawkspur and Sacred Falls amongst a group of nine of his stable’s runners in nominations for the 2014 Craven Plate.
Touted as one to watch over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Hawkspur was unable to live up to the hype that seemed to follow his campaign from race to race, and while taking out the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), faded late in the season to completely miss the mark in all of his major targets.
Returning to the track in reasonably strong and consistent form over autumn, the Purrealist gelding finished 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.
Steadily building to the task this time in via seventh in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and fifth in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), Hawkspur successfully defended his Chelmsford Stakes title on September 4th before running home hard to finish fourth behind Sacred Falls in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) last time out.
Winning each of his first six race starts in his native New Zealand upon debuting to racing, including the 2012 edition of the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), Sacred Falls immediately impressive upon arriving at Waller’s stables in 2013; taking out the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) ahead of a classy field which included the likes of Pierro.
Returning to racing in typically strong form this year, the O’reilly entire finished fourth in both the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before successfully defending his Doncaster Mile title on Day 1 of The Championships; returning to the paddock after running second in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) just one week later.
Finishing fourth in both the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and Chelmsford Stakes prior to his George Main triumph most recently, Sacred Falls undoubtedly offers Waller his best chance of success in the Craven Plate, particularly with Zac Purton booked to take the ride.
Returning to competitive form when placing third in the George Main Stakes last time out, trainer Joe Pride has nominated Laser Hawk for the 2014 Craven Plate.
Beginning his career under the guidance of trainer Gai Waterhouse, Laser Hawk immediately stamped his claims as a serious contender over the autumn of 2012; finishing third in both the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and winning the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) most notably.
Spending nearly 18 months on the sidelines with a strong of unfortunate training injuries, the Artie Schiller gelding finished eighth in both the Missile Stakes and Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) in his only two starts prior to the George Main.
Continuing to build towards a likely 2014 Caulfield Cup berth, kiwi trainer Donna Logan has nominated Rising Romance for the Craven Plate.
A standout performer in major events in New Zealand through summer and autumn this year, the Ekraar mare won the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) on January 1st before finishing second to Puccini in both the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 1st.
Crossing the ditch for staying events late in the Autumn Carnival, Rising Romance was unlucky to finish fourth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) first-up before charging home to win the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 19th.
A final field of 16 plus barrier draw for the 2014 Craven Plate is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Craven Plate Nominations
|1||BRAMBLES (NZ)||Peter G Moody||106|
|2||CANNY BALLAD||Joseph Pride||92|
|3||DANCHAI (GB)||Chris Waller||93|
|4||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||104|
|6||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||103|
|7||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||108|
|8||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||102|
|9||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||107|
|10||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||104|
|11||LUCKY CHAPPY (IRE)||Chris Waller||96|
|12||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||107|
|13||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||Chris Waller||100|
|14||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||105|
|15||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||117|
|16||SLOW PACE (USA)||Kris Lees||102|
|17||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||94|