With the release this week of the entries for the Caulfield Cup, The Melbourne Cup and The Cox Plate it is easy to see that the Spring Racing Carnival is just around the corner.
August 18th sees that magic mare Sunline resume in a 1200 sprint at Moonee Valley in the start of her campaign for this year's W.S. Cox Plate. The opposition will be hot. Universal Prince, also nominated for Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup honours is but one of the well qualified contenders.
Lonhro, Mr Murphy, Northerly, Shogun Lodge, and Referral are but a few of the proven hopes for the Weight For Age championship and it will be interesting to see if Lonhro can make it after a solid 2yo campaign. The Hawkes stable would say yes.
It will be a race we can look forward to.
The Caulfield Cup/ Melbourne Cup entries are far more open with hundreds of entries including a sprinkling of overseas contenders, although, as in the past they will not make it easy for themselves by lobbing on our shores with so little work under their belt.
Universal Prince once again figures in both races and on his best behaviour would be hard to beat. It is interesting to see the aged horse Skybeau nominated once again. Is he going for the record? Apache King the Adelaide Cup winner will attract interest as will late bloomer Big Pat, Maythehorsebewithu, Crown Mahal and others.
Surprise BMW winner Curata Storm will be out to prove his win was no fluke and Star Covet the 66/1 winner of the Gold Coast classic is also amongst the entries.
Kapstaad Way and Yippio are set to try again and Primrose Sands, the best of a weak lot of Sydney stayers is also nominated. Sky Heights, in and out of form last preparation is to have another go and the old Frenzel Rhomb from Adelaide has been paid up for.
Tie The Knot, who has never performed down South is listed yet again to show that hope springs eternal and all in all it is a very strong list of nominations.
The next step is the release of the weights. That's a nightmare job for somebody.
Still, we are served notice. Spring is in the air and all around Australia (and overseas) plans are being made that will mostly culminate long before any of these races. With the demise of Randwick, all eyes will be down South at Flemington and Caulfield, Sandown and Moonee Valley. Let's hope for fair weather and great Racing.