Group 1 Winners Included in 2015 McEwen Stakes Nominations

August 31st, 2015

Twenty-two sprinters have been included in nominations for Saturday’s Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse; highlighted by the pending appearances of several previous winners at the highest level.

Chautauqua leads 2015 McEwen Stakes nominations. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Chautauqua leads 2015 McEwen Stakes nominations. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Chautauqua broke through for a maiden win at the highest level during The Championships and has been included in nominations for a racing return in the 2015 McEwen Stakes.

A strong and consistent performer for Team Hawkes since first appearing on course in late 2013, Chautauqua has posted an impressive six wins and six minors through only fourteen competitive appearances to date.

Returning last spring for success in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) on September 13th, the Encosta De Lago gelding continued to impress in taking out the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) before running second in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8th.

Returning this year for success in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) on February 14th, Chautauqua ran second to Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) before posting a maiden Group 1 win in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 6th; returning to the paddock after placing third in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later.

Team Hawkes are set to launch a two-pronged attack on the 2015 McEwen Stakes after also including three-year-old Headwater in nominations.

Charging home to win the Group 2 Silver Slipper (1100m) in only his second competitive start, Headwater progressed to third in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 7th before running a credible fifth in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) a fortnight later.

While unable to figure when beating only one runner home in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) first-up on August 15th, Headwater will be treated well in the weights should he accept into the McEwen Stakes final field.

Flamberge also posted a maiden Group 1 victory during an impressive autumn preparation and has been included in 2015 McEwen Stakes nominations.

Claiming eight wins and as many minors through his 27 career starts, Flamberge returned this year for a close second behind Chautauqua in the Rubiton Stakes; running third in the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m).

While failing to fire and 12th in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), the Exceed And Excel gelding returned to the paddock after beating a particularly classy field to the line in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 16th.

Lucky Hussler responded favourably to a move to trainer Darren Weir’s stables prior to the 2014 Spring Carnival and has been included in 2015 McEwen Stakes nominations.

Failing to finish outside the first three in five starts last spring, highlighted by a close second in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), Lucky Hussler returned to racing in the best way possible this year when charging home to win the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) on March 27th.

While only managing mid-pack finishes in each of his next two starts, Weir has been pleased with the work produced by the Husson gelding in the lead-up to his competitive return.

The 2015 McEwen Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.

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2015 McEwen Stakes Nominations

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 x112x1213x CHAUTAUQUA H 5 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 114
2 7643x2301x FLAMBERGE G 6 Peter G Moody 109
3 1x2261x FURNACES C 3 John O’Shea 80
4 16x3x19x GOLD RORY G 6 Mark Riley 72
5 650x2326x7 GREGERS M 5 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 103
6 80x4132x99 GRIANTE M 5 David Brideoake 101
7 1135×7 HEADWATER C 3 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 85
8 x5229x666x I’M ALL THE TALK H 5 Gary Portelli 95
9 671217490x IT IS WRITTEN G 7 Robbie Griffiths 101
10 365×435944 KLISHINA M 6 David Bourne 79
11 113x32813x KURO (NZ) H 4 Lee & Anthony Freedman 101
12 276x520x31 LE BONSIR G 8 Mick Price 96
13 32212x167x LUCKY HUSSLER G 6 Darren Weir 109
14 x3845x344x MISS STEELE M 5 Michael Kent 88
15 140x PARCEL F 3 Wez Hunter 64
16 1140x SISTONIC M 4 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 70
17 26x1x1 SUPIDO H 4 Michael Kent 72
18 1113163×68 SWEET EMILY M 5 Phil Sweeney 82
19 x21631166x THE QUARTERBACK G 5 Robbie Griffiths 93
20 x12121145x TYCOON TARA M 5 Symon Wilde 98
21 63x221175x UNANIMOUSLY G 8 Matthew Dale 99
22 1277189×08 WRITTEN DASH M 4 Danny Curran 76