A particularly talented field of 16 runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s featured Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick Racecourse, highlighted by several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
The standout performer of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, trainer Chris Waller has nominated champion miler Boban for a first-up appearance in the 2014 Missile Stakes this weekend.
Securing a perfect record of five wins from as many starts through the 2013 spring, Boban hit peak condition early when strolling home to win the Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) on September 21st before breaking through for a maiden Group 1 victory in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October fifth and repeating the dose in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on November 9th.
Taking a little while to get going during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival, the Bernardini gelding finished a disappointing fifth in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up, and while appearing to have lost his killer touch when again unable to place in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), silenced all critics when returning to his pet distance and winner’s circle in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on March 8th.
While unable to handle the less-than-ideal racing conditions of his last two race starts, Waller is confident of another standout spring for the five-year-old and a polished performance to begin.
Set to dominate the final field for the 2014 Missile Stakes, Waller has nominated a further four of his stable’s stars for Saturday’s feature race, including both Hawkspur and Weary.
Touted as one to watch through the 2014 Spring Carnival, Hawkspur appeared to be unable to live up to the hype that followed his campaign everywhere; claiming just one race win in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and failing to finish in the places in a further five starts, including a disappointing 20th in the Melbourne Cup.
Performing to a high standard since first arriving to Waller’s care from his native France partway through 2013, Weary was one of the most consistent runners of the Autumn Racing Carnival; failing to finish outside the places in five starts which included a win in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m), third in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and second in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) most recently.
Breaking through for a maiden Group 1 victory during the Autumn Carnival, trainer Joseph Pride has nominated Tiger Tees for a first-up appearance in the Group 2 Missile Stakes.
Running on to win the Listed Falvelon (1200m) first-up on February 22nd, the Dubawi entire appeared well and truly out of his depth when beating just a single runner home in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) three weeks later, but amazingly overcame the odds to win the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) with relative ease on March 29th.
One of the most experienced runners nominated for the Missile Stakes, Pride, who has also nominated Laser Hawk for the Missile Stakes, is confident Tiger Tees’ proven ability first-up will count for a lot this weekend.
2013 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) champion Rebel Dane has been set for a tilt at the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 30th, and carries strong form from a recent Warwick Farm barrier trial and exhibition gallop into the 2014 Missile Stakes.
Securing an impressive total of six wins and two minor places from just 16 competitive starts, the California Dane entire was unable to hit peak condition over five starts in autumn, however has reportedly taken particularly well to his time away from racing.
A final field of 14 plus barrier draw for the 2014 Missile Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Missile Stakes Nominations
|2||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||113|
|5||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||102|
|6||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||109|
|7||MAJOR MAJOR||Bryce Heys||65|
|8||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||107|
|9||MISS PROMISCUITY||Anthony Cummings||78|
|10||RARE RUBY||Bryce Heys||74|
|11||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||111|
|13||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||106|
|15||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||109|
|16||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||106|