Preferment and Thunder Lady have both been included in the nominations for the 2015 Spring Preview Handicap and they are a chance to return to the races in the $85,000 race that will be held at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Preferment scored his maiden race win with a strong staying performance in the Group 1 Victoria Derby Day (2500m) at Flemington on November 1 last year, but he was an inconsistent performer during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Zabeel entire was outpaced in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21 and he failed to beat home a runner in the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 7, but he returned to his best form with a close second behind Volkstok’n’barrell in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 21.
Preferment started the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) as a clear favourite, but he was always well back in the Group 1 event and he finished more than seven lengths behind Mongolian Khan.
Trainer Chris Waller is yet to reveal the major target for Preferment during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but he was included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) that were released last week.
Another Caulfield Cup hopeful that has been included in the nominations for the Spring Preview Handicap is John Sargent-trained Thunder Lady, who took out the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and finished second in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) during her spring campaign last year.
Thunder Lady was unable to record a race win during her autumn preparation, but she lost no admirers with credible efforts in the Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 13, the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 and the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
The Mastercraftsman mare was originally set to return to the races in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), but she could start her spring preparation a week earlier.
Chris Waller is set to have a strong hand in the Spring Preview Handicap as Winter Stakes winner Rugged Cross, Thousand Guineas winner Amicus, Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal and former Hong Kong-based galloper Silverball were also included in the nominations for the Spring Preview Handicap, while Thunder Lady could be joined in the race by stablemate Centre Pivot.
The 2015 Spring Preview Handicap nominations are rounded out by Joe Pride-trained Adorabeel, last start winner Countryman, Godolphin import Magic Hurricane and Missile Stakes fourth placegetter Zaratone.