18 Included in 2015 Autumn Classic Nominations

February 24th, 2015

18 three-year-olds have been included in 2015 Autumn Classic (1800m) nominations, highlighted by the inclusion of several of the season’s most exciting staying prospects.

Moonovermanhattan has been included in 2015 Autumn Classic nominations. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Moonovermanhattan has been included in 2015 Autumn Classic nominations. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Moonovermanhattan was a standout performer for Mick Price late in the 2014 Spring Carnival, and is sure to relish the step-up to 1800m for the Autumn Classic this weekend.

Charging home to win the Group 3 Darley National Stakes (1200m) on debut in autumn last year before immediately returning to the paddock, Moonovermanhattan beat only one runner home in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) upon resuming in spring, but quickly found his feet in finishing fourth in the Listed Living Legends Stakes (1400m) on September 13th.

Running second in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) on  September 26th before a credible seventh in the featured Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), the Manhattan Rain colt charged home to take out the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on October 25th, but failed to get the distance when 12th in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).

Having placed eleventh in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) first-up and fourth in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago, Moonovermanhattan is leading chance for success in the 2015 Autumn Classic.

Trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have experienced a positive start to 2015, and are set to be offered two good chances of success in the Autumn Classic after including Firehouse Rock and Hong Kong Captain in nominations.

Claiming one win and a further four minor place finishes from his eight start career so far; Firehouse Rock finished third in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) most notably in 2014, and has returned for fifth in the Flemington Rose Garden (1420m) and third in the Autumn Stakes this time in.

A standout performer since debut in December, Hong Kong Captain comfortably took out a minor over 1200m on debut; progressing to third in the Heading Out Hair & Beauty BM64 (1400m) and winning the Vobis Gold Star (1500m) leading into a credible run for fifth in the Autumn Stakes.

Magicool also performed to a high standard for trainer Mark Kavanagh over spring, and will be contesting his second start this time in on the way to the Australian Derby this weekend.

Beating a talented field to the line in the Height Insurance Agencies Maiden (1200m) first-up in spring, Magicool ran second in a Geelong minor over 1435m on September 26th before breaking through for a maiden black type victory in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) on October 5th.

Returning to the paddock after credible fifth-place finishes in the Caulfield Classic and Victoria Derby, the Fastnet Rock gelding could only manage eighth in the Autumn Stakes, but is sure to perform well over a proven distance of 1800 in the Autumn Classic.

A final field and barrier draw for the 2015 Autumn Classic is due to be completed and released on Wednesday.

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2015 Autumn Classic Nominations

# Horse Trainer Hcp Rating
1 AAGAS Todd Balfour 54
2 ALPINE EAGLE Tony McEvoy 70
3 ARIANNE (NZ) Pat Hyland 62
4 BETSY Peter G Moody 67
5 CHILL PARTY Tom Hughes 69
6 DUIBIO Ciaron Maher 67
7 FIREHOUSE ROCK David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 75
8 HONG KONG CAPTAIN David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 75
9 LUCKY PADDY Mark Riley 63
10 MAGICOOL Mark Kavanagh 78
11 MINNESINGER Lee & Anthony Freedman 67
13 NORMAN RULES Colin & Cindy Alderson 65
14 PEPPERJACK Wez Hunter 62
15 SAN PADRE Michael Kent 67
16 SIGA LA VACA Aaron Purcell 62
17 THE CHAIRMAN Mick Price
18 ZAHSPEED Danny O’Brien 68