German import Flamingo Star was included in the nominations for the 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup that were released yesterday and he is set to make his Australian racing debut in the Group 3 event this weekend.
Flamingo Star made his racing debut under the care of Roland Dzubasz in the 2012 edition of the Group 3 Herzog Von Ratibor-Rennen (1710m) and he beat subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist as well as fellow imported stayer Big Memory to make a winning start to his racing career.
The Areion entire failed to fire in the Group 3 Fruhjahrs-Preis Des Bankhauses Metzler (2011m) in April of 2013, but he returned to his best form in the Group 3 Bavarian Classic (2011m) before he finished behind the likes of Lucky Speed, Tres Blue and Ivanhowe in the 2013 edition of the German Derby (2413m).
Flamingo Star performed fairly without winning in the first four race starts of his 2014 racing season, but he returned to winning form with a dominant victory in the Group 3 Grosser Preis der Landeshauptstadt Dusseldorf in October last before he finished his European racing career with a surprise win in the Group 3 Prix Perth (1600m) in France.
The five-year-old was purchased by a group of connections associated with the Chris Waller stable at the start of 2015 and he has settled in well since arriving in Sydney in March.
Flamingo Star made his first public appearance in Australia when he was outpaced in a barrier trial over 810 metres at Warwick Farm on April 10, but he produced a much improved performance when he finished second in a barrier trial over 1175 metres at the same venue on April 24.
Waller is set to have a very strong presence in the 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup field after he included I’m Imposing, Strawberry Boy, Bagman, Multilateral, Rugged Cross, Vilanova and Danchai in the nominations for the $150,000 event.
Leading Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse is also set to have a strong hand in the race after she included Ecuador, Pheidon and Frespanol in the entries, while Joe Pride-trained Laser Hawk is set to drop back in grade following his lackluster effort in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 18.
Other horses that are a chance of contesting the Hawkesbury Gold Cup include Kiwi mare Diademe, veteran gelding Monton, Godolphin gallopers Malice, San Diego and Medcaut as well as Mike Moroney-trained Surpass.