Chris Waller has nominated a squad of six horses for the $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8 headed by Queensland Derby (2400m) winner Hawkspur.
The talented four-year-old started favourite in last year’s BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), in which he finished seventh, on the back of an eye-catching run in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Hawkspur aside, Waller has also nominated Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) victor Foreteller, as well as fellow imports Moriarty, Index Linked, He’s Your Man and Bayrir.
Justine Hales, who runs Waller’s Melbourne operation, confirmed yesterday that both Hawkspur and Foreteller would resume in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8, before likely following the traditional Australian Cup route via the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22.
Hales said both Hawkspur and Foreteller would make the trip down to Melbourne at some stage in the coming weeks.
Other key Australian Cup entries so far include Cox Plate (2040m) champion Shamus Award, Australian Guineas (1600m) winner Ferlax and Zipping Classic (2400m) victor Sertorius.
Waller has also entered five runners in Super Saturday’s other $1 million feature, the Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) headed by exciting three-year-old Zoustar.
Former Kelso Wood-trained four-year-old Sizzling is another that features prominently among Waller’s entries, alongside classy mares Arinosa and Catkins, as well as Magic Millions Cup (1400m) winner Velrosso.
Further key Newmarket entries so far include last year’s third placegetter Aeronautical, star Sydney sprinter Rain Affair, dual Group 1 winning mare Platelet and the Gerald Ryan-trained Snitzerland.
Nominations close this Tuesday for the Australian Cup and Newmarket Handicap, as well as the Australian Guineas which is run at Flemington a week earlier on March 1.
– Racing Victoria