An impressive list of 19 runners have been nominated for this weekend’s Group 2 Tramway Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by some of the 2014 Spring Carnival’s most exciting racing prospects.
Breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing through autumn, trainer Kris Lees has nominated leading Caulfield Cup fancy Lucia Valentina for the 2014 Tramway Handicap.
A standout performer in her native New Zealand in what was her maiden racing preparation through the 2013 spring and summer, Lucia Valentina won a minor over 1200m on debut and continued to build towards an impressive victory in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) and second in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) on January 1st.
Travelling to Australian for the 2014 Autumn Carnival, the Savabeel mare finished third in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) first-up, and which appearing to be severely outclassed when finishing 12th in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd, responded in the best way possible when charging home to win the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper day.
Returning to the paddock after finishing third in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 19th, Lees is confident two impressive barrier trials in Newcastle will translate into a polished first-up performance from Lucia Valentina in the 2014 Tramway Handicap.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Tramway Handicap is Australian Oaks champion Rising Romance.
A standout performer in an impressive group of New Zealand-based raiders through the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Rising Romance booked her ticket to Australia on the back of several impressive results; winning both the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial Open (1500m) and Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) before finishing second to Puccini in both the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 1st.
Unlucky to finish fourth in the Vinery Stud Stakes when unable to overcome poor early racing position in her first Australian feature, the Ekraar mare never appeared in doubt in the 2014 Australian Oaks; finishing the line a comfortable length in the clear.
Returning to the track in scintillating form this time in, trainer Joe Pride has nominated Tiger Tees for the 2014 Tramway Handicap.
Securing an impressive total of 13 race wins and five minor places over his 29 competitive race starts so far, Tiger Tees has returned to the track in career-best form this year; winning the Listed Falvelon (1200m) first-up on February 22nd and continuing to build in form and class on his way to a maiden Group 1 victory in The Galaxy (1100m) on March 29th.
Running on for fourth in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) and third in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) following his Galaxy triumph, the Dubawi gelding did enough to win the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) first-up on August 9th before finding the line nearly two lengths in the clear in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) last time out on August 23rd.
Offered a great chance of a third-consecutive victory in the 2014 Tramway Handicap, Pride will be hoping for a rain-soaked track if Tiger Tees is to overcome a field which is also likely to include Gypsy Diamond.
Quickly building to the task over five starts through autumn, Gypsy Diamond finished second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up, and while unable to figure when ninth in the Coolmore Classic, returned to devastating form when winning the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) and finishing second in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 19th.
Running on for fifth in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) first-up on August 23rd, the Not A Single Doubt mare will be contesting just her second race under trainers Peter and Paul Snowden this weekend, having transferred from the care of now-Godolphin trainer John O’Shea at the conclusion of autumn.
A final field of 16 and barrier draw for the 2014 Tramway Handicap is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Tramway Handicap Nominations
|1||DANCHAI (GB)||Chris Waller||94|
|2||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||101|
|4||HOOKED||John P Thompson||96|
|5||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||102|
|6||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||102|
|8||MY SABEEL (NZ)||Kevin Moses||87|
|9||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||100|
|11||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||111|
|12||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||105|
|13||ROCK STURDY||Joseph Pride||87|
|14||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||88|
|15||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||112|
|16||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||109|
|17||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||95|
|18||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||106|
|19||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||99|