2014 Flight Stakes Nominations Released

September 29th, 2014

Just eight three-year-old fillies have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by some of the Spring Carnival’s most exciting prospects.

Winx has been included in nominations for the 2014 Flight Stakes

Winx has been included in nominations for the 2014 Flight Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

Returning to racing in great condition this time in, trainer Chris Waller has included Winx in nominations for the 2014 Flight Stakes.

Taking out each of her first two race starts in a brief debut preparation over winter, Winx displayed an exceptional turn of foot to become only the second runner to deliver classy filly Earthquake a competitive defeat when finding the line in the clear in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) first-up before running a close second to fellow Flight Stakes nominee First Seal in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) last time out.

Yet to appear in a competitive race over 1600m, Waller is confident regular jockey Jason Collett will again get the best from Winx in her maiden appearance the highest level of Australian racing this weekend.

Stamping her claims as a serious black type contender when registering a shock win in the Tea Rose Stakes last time out, First Seal has finished outside the places just once in her short racing career so-far and is a leading chance for success in the 2014 Flight Stakes.

Unlucky to be blocked for a run when fourth in the Drummond Golf Plate (1250m) on debut on May 14th, trainer John Thompson’s decision to skip major two-year-old events in both autumn and winter with the Fastnet Rock filly appears to already be paying dividends, having saddled the now three-year-old to a win in the Daily Press Plate (1100m) and second in the TAB Early Quaddie 3.y.o (1400m) prior to the Tea Rose.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse is poised to launch a three-pronged attack on the 2014 Flight Stakes, including classy stable mates Echo Gal, Muscovado and Twirl in nominations.

Claiming three wins and one minor from her eight appearances on course so far, Echo Gal has returned to racing in peak form this time in; winning each of her first two starts and continuing on to a competitive second in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) last time out on September 20th.

Facing without doubt her biggest test to date in the 2014 Flight Stakes, Muscovado claimed back-to-back victories in minors over 1300m through August and September; running on for third in the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) most recently.

Arguably Waterhouse’s best chance of success in the 2014 Flight Stakes, Twirl secured several impressive black type results over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, highlighted by a strong run for third behind subsequent Golden Slipper winner Mossfun in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) and second in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) on March 15th.

Team Hawkes are eyeing a spot in the 2014 Flight Stakes for classy runner Lady Sharapova, who is joined by Press Report and Thinking Of You in rounding out nominations for the Group 1 event.

A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Flight Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.

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2014 Flight Stakes Nominations

# Horse Trainer Hcp Rating
1 ECHO GAL Gai Waterhouse 78
2 FIRST SEAL John P Thompson 91
3 LADY SHARAPOVA Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 74
4 MUSCOVADO Gai Waterhouse 67
5 PRESS REPORT Lee Curtis 75
6 THINKING OF YOU (NZ) Peter G Moody 70
7 TWIRL Gai Waterhouse 74
8 WINX Chris Waller 92