Newmarket Handicap quinella The Quarterback and Black Heart Bart headline a quality list of nominations for the Group 1 $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Thursday night.
Eighteen gallopers have been nominated for the weight for age sprint, including six Group 1 winners, Delectation, Flamberge, Holler, Japonisme, Lucky Hussler and The Quarterback.
The Robbie Griffiths trained The Quarterback broke through for his initial Group 1 win when he beat Black Hart Bart in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12.
Griffiths has also nominated seven year old It Is Written who last start finished third in the Listed $120,000 Simpson Construction Abell Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 18.
Former West Australian trained Black Heart Bart was having his first run for the Darren Weir stable when he ran a mighty race for second in the Newmarket Handicap and will be having his first look at Moonee Valley on Thursday night.
Weir has also entered last year’s William Reid Stakes winner Lucky Hussler and five year old mare Scarlet Billows.
Lucky Hussler is also the winner of the 2015 Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and is coming off a last start second to Suavito in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13.
While Scarlet Billows will face a major rise in class after running fifth in a 1100m Fillies and Mares Plate at Flemington on March 5.
Peter Moody has nominated last start Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner Flamberge as well and his promising three year old Kinglike who is coming off a last start second to English in the Group 2 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 5.
Also among the William Reid Stakes nominations are the Chris Waller trained Group 1 winners Delectation and Japonisme.
Both sprinters have come through the same Autumn Carnival program with runs in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) and in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) both at Flemington.
In the Black Caviar Lightning Japonisme finished third with Delectation fifth while in the Newmarket Handicap Japonisme was fifth and Delectation was at the tail of the field in ninth spot.
The John O’Shea trained Holler is a two time winner over the same course and distance as the William Reid Stakes, including a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) on January 23 and is coming off a last start all the way win in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 5.
Early market order for the William Reid Stakes: $4 Lucky Hussler, $4.50 Holler, Japonisme, $7.50 Black Heart Bart, $8.50 Kinglike, $9 The Quarterback, $15 Flamberge, Miss Seton Sands, $17 Delectation, $19 Headwater, $21 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Sooboog, $26 Churchill Dancer, $31 Sabatini, Scarlet Billows, $34 Gregers, $41 It Is Written, $101 De Little Engine.