Nominations for the 2014 Missile Stakes have been released, with 16 talented gallopers included in the entries for the Group 2 event that will be held at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Rebel Dane has been set for a first-up tilt at the Missile Stakes and he is certain to return to the races in the $175,000 event this weekend.
The California Dane entire was given a short break in the spelling paddock after he finished seventh in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 and trainer Gary Portelli revealed this morning that his star galloper would be very forward for his first-up assignment.
Another galloper that has been kept fresh for the Missile Stakes is John Sargent-trained Kirramosa, who will be making her first appearance at the races since she took out the 2013 Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 7 last year.
Kirramosa missed the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival due to a fetlock issues, but Sargent is confident that the daughter of Alamosa is back to peak fitness and has set the four-year-old for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Sweet Idea has been of the most consistent performers of her generation and she will begin her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Missile Stakes this weekend.
The Snitzel mare took out the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 22 and was narrowly denied a maiden Group 1 victory by Steps In Time in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has included five horses in the Missile Stakes nominations, but he is yet to reveal which of his horses will actually start their spring campaigns in the Group 2 event.
Boban, Foreteller and Hawkspur are all expected to return to the races in either the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 or the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) the following weekend, but Kencella and Weary are both a chance of contesting the Missile Stakes this weekend.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2014 Missile Stakes nominations is Joseph Pride-trained Laser Hawk, who has not been seen at the races since he finished 11th in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Laser Hawk won the 2012 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) when prepared by Gai Waterhouse, but has been kept away from the track due a to a tendon injury for over a year.
The Artie Schiller gelding has performed well in three barrier trials at Warwick Farm since June and is a chance of having what will be just his tenth race start in his racing career.
The Bryce Heys-trained duo of Major Major and Rare Ruby, beaten Doncaster Mile favourite Messene, promising mare Miss Promiscuity, Godolphin entire Sidestep, Kris Lees-trained Thump and The Galaxy winner Tiger Tees have also been included in the Missile Stakes nominations.