The 2015 Caulfield Classic nominations have been released and 565 fillies, colts and geldings have been included in the nominations for the Group 3 event that will be held at Caulfield on October 17.
The Caulfield Classic is worth up to $500,000 in prizemoney and all the horses included in the nominations for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) receive automatic entry into the race that offers a $500,000 bonus if it is won by the same horse that takes out either the Caulfield Guineas or the Thousand Guineas.
Group 1 winning colts Vancouver, Press Statement and Pride Of Dubai have all been included in the nominations for the Caulfield Classic, but they are unlikely to contest the race as they are set to press on to the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 if they perform well in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
One Group 1 winner that could head up in the Caulfield Classic is Peter Moody-trained Pasadena Girl, who came out of nowhere to become the star filly of the autumn.
Moody did not expect Pasadena Girl to race as a two-year-old, but she recorded three wins from four starts in what was a most impressive preparation.
Pasadena Girl made her racing debut with an upset win at a very big prize in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on February 21 and she proved that win was no fluke when she took out the Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.
She did not have a great deal of luck when she finished fourth behind Pride Of Dubai in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6, but she returned to winning form with a very soft victory in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 18.
Veteran trainer Robert Smerdon took out the first running of the Caulfield Classic with Fontein Ruby, who beat stablemate Crafty, and he could have up to seven runners in the $1 million event this year.
Smerdon included Ability, Our Boy Leo and Regal Witness in the 2015 Caulfield Guineas nominations, while he entered Androili, Cazonet, Chabaud and Indarra for the Thousand Guineas.
The Caulfield Classic was previously known as the Norman Robinson Stakes until 2014, but Racing Victoria and the Melbourne Racing Club significantly increased the prizemoney on offer in the hope that the race will be upgraded and develop into a genuine target for three-year-olds in the upcoming years.