Commanding Jewel will have the opportunity to record back-to-back Let’s Elope Stakes wins after she was included in the nominations for the Group 2 event that will be held at Flemington on Saturday.
Commanding Jewel recorded her second win at Group level when she beat Catkins and A Time For Julia to take out the Let’s Elope Stakes last weekend, but she was sent to the spelling paddock and missed the rest of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival due to injury.
A nasty cut to her hoof saw Commanding Jewel’s absence from the track extended, but she returned to the races with a most impressive third place finish in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 30.
Gregers defeated Commanding Jewel to win the Cockram Stakes and the duo are set to clash again in the Let’s Elope Stakes this weekend.
The Commands mare started her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an effortless three and a half lengths win in the Australian Defence Force Handicap (1100m) at Caulfield on August 16, a performance that trainer David Hayes described as being like a barrier trial, before she led all the way to record a tough win in the Let’s Elope Stakes.
Gregers is chasing her third win at Group level in the Let’s Elope Stakes and she is set to return to Group 1 level for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28 if she performs well this weekend.
A Time For Julia finished second in the Cockram Stakes and she will have the opportunity to turn-the-tables on Gregers in the Let’s Elope Stakes.
The Redoute’s Choice mare finished third behind Commanding Jewel and Catkins in the Let’s Elope Stakes last year, but has improved significantly in the past 12 months; with the five-year-old finishing a credible fourth in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Dear Demi also resumed with a solid performance in the Cockram Stakes and will be advantaged by the step-up in trip to 1400 metres, while Gig will be returning to mares company after she performed well at weight-for-age level in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
Other interesting horses in the 2014 Let’s Elopes Stakes nominations include the resuming Solicit, injury-plagued Scandiva, Team Hawkes-trained Lorna May and staying mare Epingle.