Triple Group 1 winner Dissident will have the chance to add another win at the highest level of racing to his resume at Caulfield this weekend after being included in the 2015 Orr Stakes nominations.
Dissident was one of the stars of the 2014 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, taking out both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in impressive fashion, but his campaign came to a premature end when he bled during the running of the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 11.
The Sebring entire returned to racing with a slightly flat performance behind Mourinho in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 24, but is sure to be suited by the return to Caulfield and the step-up to 1400 metres.
Veteran gelding Happy Trails has contested the past three editions of the Memsie Stakes, but he will be having his first start in the Orr Stakes at Caulfield this weekend.
Happy Trails made a slow start to his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he returned to his best form with a close second behind Foreteller in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20 and was far from disgraced in the Caulfield Stakes and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before he scored his third win at Group 1 level in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
The son of Good Journey is set to have only a brief autumn campaign and is expected to head to the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 15 after resuming in the Orr Stakes this weekend.
Team Hawkes have previously won the Orr Stakes with Yell (2003), Lonhro (2004) and All Too Hard (2013) and they have included both Entirely Platinum and Toydini in the nominations for the 2015 edition of the race.
Entirely Platinum was earmarked as a Caulfield Cup contender at the start of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he missed out on a guaranteed start in the race after finishing a close second in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and he was sent to the spelling paddock following his eighth place finish in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Toydini joined the Team Hawkes stable at the start of his spring campaign and finished third in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) in his first race start for his new stable, but failed to fire in both the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at the same venue on October 4.
All Too Hard is the only three-year-old to win the Orr Stakes in the last decade, but veteran trainers David Hayes and Lee Freedman are both considering running three-year-olds in the race.
Hayes has always had a big opinion of Petrology and is set to give the Fastnet Rock colt a maiden opportunity at Group 1 level after he finished second in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on Australia Day, while his Manfred Stakes conqueror Java could also find himself in the Orr Stakes field.
Chris Waller included eight horses in the nominations for the Group 2 Apollo Stakes which were released earlier this morning, but is also likely to have a runner in the Orr Stakes after included Bagman, Beaten Up, Foreteller and He’s Your Man in the nominations for the Orr Stakes.
Beaten Up returned from a lengthy lay-off due to injury with a credible performance in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 31 and is set to be the sole Waller-trained runner in the Group 1 event this weekend.
P.B. Lawrence Stakes winner Star Rolling, imported galloper Mouro, Queensland winner Sonntag, David Hayes-trained Spillway, Australia Stakes winner Mourinho, Wez Hunter-trained Smokin’ Joey, the in-form Red Excitement and Perth Cup winner Real Love have also been included in the 2015 Orr Stakes nominations.