Chris Waller’s multiple Group 1 winner Boban has been allocated the topweight for the 2015 Group 1 $1m The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 3.
Boban has been handicapped with 58kg and is third in the order for entry for Spring Carnival Randwick feature mile behind stablemate Winx on 53kg and Tramway Stakes winner Hooked with 54kg sharing the number one spot at the head of the entry order.
Boban won the 2013 Star Epsom with 53kg and the Bernardini six year old has won four Group 1 races since, the 2013 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, the 2104 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm, the 2015 Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben and the $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.
Queensland Oaks winner Winx gained exclusion from the ballot for the Epsom and jumped to the top of the order of entry when she scored a sensational win in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Waller has fourteen horses nominated for the Epsom with his glamour mares Royal Descent, 55.5kg, and Catkins, 53.5kg, racing in fine form and are well in contention.
Royal Descent resumed from a spell with a win in the Group 2 $250,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22 before running third to Complacent in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick two weeks later.
Catkins was back to her best with barnstorming first up win in the Group 3 $125,000 Irresistible Pools Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill last Saturday and has a great chance to breakthrough for her maiden Group 1 win in the Epsom with that nice light weight.
Waller’s other main Epsom contender is Kermadec, who has been given 56kg, four kilos over the minimum and five kilos more than he carried when he won Randwick’s other feature 1600m Handicap, the Group 1 $3m The Star 150th Doncaster Mile (1600m) during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Kermadec was actually handicapped to carry the minimum weight of 50kg in the Doncaster Mile but jockey Glen Boss was allowed to ride one kilo overweight.
Trainer John O’Shea also has a strong presence in the Star Epsom with eight horses in the nominations, including Group 1 winners Contributer and Hartnell.
Sydney Autumn Carnival weight for age star Contributer is equal fourth in the order of entry with 57.5kg while Group 1 The BMW winner Hartnell has one kilo less at 56.5kg.
2015 Group 1 Doomben Cup winner heads the Gai Waterhouse Epsom team with 56kg while Amanpour, the winner of the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the Autumn Carnival, has been handicapped with 52.5kg.
Team Hawkes also has a strong hand in the Epsom with Entirely Platinum (53.5kg), Messene (53kg), Leebaz (52.5kg) and Ninth Legion (52.5kg) the best of their six entries.
Entirely Platinum has performed very well at Group 1 level at his two Spring Carnival runs with a photo finish second to Boban in the $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 followed by a close up third to Fawkner in the $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Co-trained Michael Hawkes said that it was most likely that Entirely Platinum would head back to Sydney for the Star Epsom after putting together two super runs in Melbourne.
“It was a super run (in the Makybe Diva Stakes), he missed the start a bit and had to do all the work again and just got beat,” Hawkes told Racenet.
“We’ll have to see if he comes back here for the Epsom but we’ll play it by ear. He is good at a mile – that looks to be his right distance.
“He tries hard and I’m sure his day will come.”
The final field for The Star Epsom will be released on Tuesday, September 29, 2015.
Early Star Epsom market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Winx, $9 Kermadec, $10 Pornichet, Royal Descent, $11 Sweynesse, $13 Catkins, $15 Boban, Hooked, $17 Arabian Gold, Contributer, Disposition, Hauraki, Lucia Valentina, Lucky Hussler, Noble Protector.