A number of classy three-year-olds have been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) that were released by Racing Victoria this afternoon.
Bernabeau, Éclair Big Bang, Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Gregers, Hucklebuck, Safeguard, Sidestep, Villa Verde and Zoustar were all among the sixty horses included in the list of Patinack Farm Classic nominees and they each have the opportunity to join Pharein (1999) as the only three-year-olds to win the Group 1 event in the last thirty years.
Fighting off the charge from the three-year-old brigade will be a number of the older horses that are looking to claim the title of Australian Champion Sprinter that was vacated by the retirement of equine superstar Black Caviar.
Peter Moody won the Patinack Farm Classic with Ancient Song in 2003, before his two triumphs with Black Caviar in 2010 and 2011, and has a number of chances to win the race against after he included seven horses in the initial nominations.
Moody believes that Moment Of Change is good enough to become his new stable star and the five-year-old gelding headlines his chances in the race that could also include Epsom Handicap winner Fat Al and the enigmatic Strawberry Boy.
Darley trainer Peter Snowden recorded his first Patinack Farm Classic win with Mental in the 2012 edition of the race and he could have up to eight runners in the race this year.
2012 Golden Rose winner Epaulette, who will begin his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday, has the most experience of his charges at the at the highest level of racing but the lightly-raced Sessions and three-year-olds Safeguard and Sidestep both have plenty of potential.
Epaulette isn’t the only Group 1 winner included in the Patinack Farm Classic nominations; with Bel Sprinter, Linton, Platelet, Red Tracer, Shamexpress and Samaready all searching for another Group 1 victory while the unlucky Buffering, Snitzerland, Rebel Dane and Shamal Wind could have the opportunity to break their Group 1 maidens.
Arguably the most interesting entry is the Hong Kong-based Lucky Nine who has been victorious at Group 1 level on five occasions in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Dubawi gelding, who will be ridden by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Brett Prebble in both the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Patinack Farm Classic, arrived in Australia this afternoon and according to Racing Victoria travelled well.