The 2014 Autumn Classic (1800m) is set to feature eleven runners after nominations for the 2014 edition of the Group 2 event were released yesterday, including Vilanova.
Saddled by renowned trainer Chris Waller, Vilanova began his racing career in his homeland of New Zealand before experiencing a somewhat shaky start to his Australian tenure in early 2013, despite running close seconds in both the Group 2 Bollinger Champagne Classic (1200m) and Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m).
A busy 2014 autumn has already been set for the Commands gelding, with a run in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) likely only a week after the Autumn Classic.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Autumn Classic is Countersnip.
Having been left in the spelling paddock for much of the 2013 spring season, Countersnip has returned to the track in great form this preparation; winning the CRV Hospital Helping Hand Plate (1400m) and producing a strong sprint to finish third in the Listed Tasmanian Guineas (1600m) on December 21st.
Despite gathering noticeable attention leading up to the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago, the Stratum gelding was unable to make much of an impact in his first tilt at Group level success, finishing a disappointing fifth behind Thunder Fantasy.
Trainer Mick Price is confident in Countersnip’s abilities despite the less-than-ideal run in the Autumn Stakes, believing the three-year-old will be much better for the run.
Trainer Michael Kent is poised to dominate the final field of the 2014 Autumn Classic after Accord, Mysonharry and Pyrrolic were all included in nominations.
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2014 Autumn Classic Nominations
|2||ALPHA BEAT||Anthony Cummings||67|
|3||BRING SOMETHING||Ken Keys||65|
|4||CALENDAR LAD||Greg Eurell||63|
|7||JADE’S BOY||Robert Smerdon||68|
|10||SAGUARO (NZ)||Peter G Moody||67|
|11||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||72|