A talented list of eighteen runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s featured Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick Racecourse, highlighted by several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
Having broken through for a maiden Group 1 victory during the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival, trainer Kris Lees has nominated Lucia Valentina for a first-up appearance in the Warwick Stakes.
Claiming an impressive total of three wins and as many minor places from just nine competitive starts so far, Lucia Valentina finished third in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) first-up on March 8th, and while appearing to be out of her depth when 12th in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd, responded in the best way possible when charging home to win the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on April 5th.
Returning to the paddock after finishing third in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 19th, Lees has been thrilled with the way the Savabeel mare has returned to work and is confident of an even greater preparation for Lucia Valentina this time in.
Also breaking through for a maiden Group 1 victory during autumn, trainer Joe Pride has nominated Tiger Tees for the 2014 Warwick Stakes, who will be contesting his second race this time in after comfortably winning the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on August 9th.
Winning the Listed Falvelon (1200m) by a short nose in his racing return on February 22nd, Tiger Tees was unlucky to be blocked for a run in the final straight and ninth in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) upon his return to Sydney, but ensured a memorable preparation when charging home to win the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) a fortnight later.
Finishing fourth behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) and a credible third in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), the Dubawi gelding has not been seen at the races since failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 10th.
As expected, trainer Chris Waller is set to dominate the final field of the 2014 Warwick Stakes, having nominated a total of nine runners for Saturday’s Randwick feature, including standouts Boban, Our Voodoo Prince and Sacred Falls.
The standout performer of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Boban secured five wins from as many starts, including both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
While unable to hit full potential through autumn, the Bernardini gelding added the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) to his list of achievements and appears primed for another memorable spring following an impressive first-up performance in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) on August 9th.
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of leading British trainer Ed Dunlop before transferring to the care of Waller as the conclusion of 2013, Our Voodoo Prince is yet to taste anything but success in Australia; claiming three wins from as many starts through autumn, including the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) on April 19th.
Unlucky to finish just outside the places in both the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) first-up this year, Sacred Falls led a Waller-trained first four in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 12th; successfully defending his 2013 crown.
One of the highest achievers during the 2014 Autumn Carnival, trainer David Payne has confirmed Criterion for a first-up appearance in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes.
Finishing fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 1st, Criterion was unlucky when hampered early and squeezed out in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th, but responded incredibly in claiming the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) back-to-back.
A final field of 16 plus barrier draw for the 2014 Warwick Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Warwick Stakes Nominations
|2||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||110|
|3||DISSIDENT||Peter G Moody||107|
|5||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||105|
|6||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||100|
|7||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||109|
|9||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||102|
|10||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||108|
|12||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||108|
|13||MY KINGDOM OF FIFE (GB)||Chris Waller||107|
|14||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||Chris Waller||100|
|15||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||111|
|16||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||116|
|17||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||109|
|18||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||106|