Warwick Stakes winner Royal Descent heads trainer Chris Waller’s twelve nominations for the Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Royal Descent will strip a fitter horse after scoring a classy first-up win in the Group 2 $250,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22 and could be joined in the Chelmsford Stakes by stablemates Beaten Up, Foreteller, Grand Marshall, Hawkspur, I’m Imposing, Junoob, Kermadec, Moriarty, Opinion, Preferment and Who Shot Thebarman.
The Warwick Stakes was Royal Descent’s first win since she scored a ten lengths victory in the 2013 Group 1 $550,000 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick and Waller expects to the six year old mare to be hard to beat again this weekend.
“She has trained on really well,” Waller told AAP.
Waller also expects Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec to show further improvement after his first up fifth to Royal Descent in the Warwick Stakes.
“And Kermadec has also improved so I expect him to go well,” Waller said.
Beaten Up (4th), Foreteller (7th), Moriarty (10th), and Hawkspur (11th) all finished behind Royal Descent at Randwick and all will appreciate the step up to the 1600m.
French import Pornichet wasn’t disgraced when he chased home Royal Descent when second in the Warwick Stakes and the Gai Waterhouse trained stallion will get another chance to take on Waller’s mare again in the Chelmsford Stakes.
Pornichet is the only nomination from Waterhouse’s Tulloch Lodge and he also will take great benefit from his first run since winning the Group 1 $650,000 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival in May.
Trainer John O’Shea has selected the weight for age Chelmsford Stakes as the starting point for Hartnell’s Spring Carnival campaign with stablemates Complacent and It’s Somewhat also among the twenty-two entries.
Hartnell will be having his first start back since running fourth to Grand Marshall in the Group 1 $1.6m Schweppes 150th Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 11 but did live up to high expectations during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival when the English import won the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill at his previous start.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist will also be having is first run since the Autumn Carnival when he failed to run a place from four race starts.
The Kris Lees trained stayer has recovered from injuries he sustained when seventh in the Sydney Cup and showed that he was ready to return to the race track with a Newcastle barrier trial win over 1200m on August 24.
Ten year old Precedence will kick off his fifth Melbourne Cup campaign in the Chelmsford Stakes but sadly the late Bart Cummings’ name won’t be listed as his trainer on Saturday after the ‘Cups King’ passed away on Sunday morning.
Cummings and his grandson James had been training in partnership for just over two years and James Cummings is the only name now appearing as the trainer of the horses coming out of Leilani Lodge at Randwick.
Other nominations for the Chelmsford Stakes are Astronomos (David Vandyke), Gust Of Wind (John Sargent), Messene (Team Hawkes) and Tremec (John Thompson).