The 2011 Colin Stephen Quality Handicap will jump at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday with the distinct possibility of a capacity field for the 2400m Group 3 event.
A maximum of 13 horses will be able to start the race and current nominations see 14 horses on the list.
There is some real quality among them as well with the Group1 2011 Metropolitan Handicap perfectly situated for this to be an ideal lead up race.
Towards the top of the ballot is Lamasery for David Vandyke which will be having his first ever attempt beyond the 2000m mark.
He tuned up perfectly for the event with a last start win over the 10 furlongs after running first up with a solid fourth as well.
Vandyke indicated earlier today that judging by the horses pedigree you’d say there’s no way he could get the full trip but after watching him race over the past year or so he thinks he’ll get there easy.
He is due to head to The Metropolitan after this as well and he’s the top rated runner in the Colin Stephens field for that event.
In fact in the Luxbet futures market he sits at an $11 fixed price quote.
With that in mind it seems very likely he’ll be the favourite in this race although he certainly won’t have things all his own way.
Illustrious Blue is the top rater for Chris Waller and while not in great form we know he’ll run the trip.
Ironstein also makes his return after a highly successful Brisbane campaign with Galizani, Hume, Praecido, Raeburn and The Verminator all in the mix.
This is a race where the odds will be very interesting and they could fluctuate a lot so keep an eye on them at Luxbet.
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2011 Colin Stephen Handicap Nominations
|1||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||Chris Waller||1||59kg||106|
|4||REBEL SOLDIER (IRE)||David Hayes||4||53.5kg||95|
|6||GALIZANI||John P Thompson||6||53kg||92|
|7||HUME (NZ)||Brian Smith||7=||53kg||91|
|8||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||13||53kg||65|
|9||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||7=||53kg||91|
|11||RED EYE SPECIAL (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||10||53kg||75|
|12||SPLENDID HONOURS||Paul Perry||12||53kg||67|
|13||THE VERMINATOR||Chris Waller||5||53kg||94|
|14||TWO FOR TEA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||11||53kg||68|