A talented field of 25 has been nominated for an appearance in the 2014 Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield racecourse this weekend, including talented Irish import Mourayan.
A proven performer in autumn events, Mourayan steadily built to the task in his early 2013 preparation, finishing fourth in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) before producing a strong turn of foot to win the major Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) by a length.
While unable to figure in four race starts at Group 1 level over spring, including the Melbourne Cup, the Alhaarth entire has returned to racing in good order this time in; unlucky to be pipped on the line by Fiorente in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) first-up before finishing a competitive fourth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) last time out.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Easter Cup is fellow Robert Hickmott-trained seven-year-old Tanby.
Finishing third in the 2013 edition of the Australian Cup, Tanby was also unable to make the most of a five start spring career, but has seemingly returned to the track in competitive form having finished fourth in the VRC 150th Celebration Race Open (2000m) on March 1st.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Sydney Cup on Saturday, Hickmott will allow this evening’s final field and barrier draw decide on which path the Galileo gelding will take this weekend.
Amassing three wins and 10 places from 25 race starts, Bel Thor will be aiming to secure a maiden campaign victory this weekend, having been included in nominations for the Group 3 Easter Cup.
Contesting a particularly consistent 10 race spring campaign, Bel Thor was unlucky when blocked for a run and fourth in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on October 13th; hitting back with a victory in the Antler Luggage Handicap (2000m) and third behind Mouro and Rain Drum in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes.
Returning to the track in typically consistent form this time, the God’s Own gelding was unlucky when unable to recover from hitting the rail in the Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m) on March 1st, again hitting back with a strong performance for second in the Listed Golden Mile (1600m) in Bendigo on March 15th.
A consistent performer over the 2013 spring, Julienas will be aiming to re-find the form that delivered a strong victory in the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) on September 28th and unlucky second in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on October 5th.
Despite finishing ninth in the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) first-up this preparation, the Cape Cross gelding found good position in the final straight to finish a fighting fifth in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (1900) on March 22nd.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Easter Cup is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Easter Cup Nominations
|1||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||97|
|2||ANCIENT KING (IRE)||Peter G Moody||93|
|3||BANCA MO||David & Scott Brunton||104|
|4||BEL THOR||Wez Hunter||92|
|5||BUXTED (IRE)||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||89|
|6||DIAMOND JIM||Robbie Laing||72|
|8||GENEROUS BEAU||David & Ryan Balfour||88|
|10||JULIENAS (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||103|
|12||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||108|
|15||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||Chris Waller||94|
|16||SAINT OR SINNER (NZ)||Michael Moroney||87|
|17||SECOND KING||Michael Kent||78|
|19||STIPULATE (GB)||David Hayes||100|
|20||SUPREMACY (NZ)||Russell Cameron||82|
|22||TRADE COMMISSIONER (IRE)||Chris Waller||86|
|23||WHISPER DOWNS||David Hayes||93|
|24||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||98|
|25||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||81|