Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has entered class sprinters Spirit Of Valor and Fleet Review for the Ascot carnival which boasts record international and interstate nominations.
Spirit Of Valor, the Schillaci Stakes (1100m) runner-up at Caulfield last Saturday, and recent English Group 1 placegetter Fleet Review are contenders for the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on December 1.
O’Brien’s nominations were among 151 overseas and interstate entries for the carnival, up from 109 last year.
Sydney-based James Cumm-ings entered $5.5 million stake-earner Hartnell in the Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 24 and the Kingston Town Classic (1800m) a fortnight later.
Other leading interstate trainers with nominations include Darren Weir, Chris Waller, David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Kris Lees, Tony McEvoy, Mick Price, Anthony Freedman, Ciaron Maher, Lloyd Kennewell and Joe Pride.
The Kingston Town attracted 102 entries while there were 84 in the Railway, 65 in the Winter-bottom and 83 in the WA Guineas (1600m) on November 24.
Meanwhile, 2016 Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice has trialled stylishly at Lark Hill ahead of a carnival campaign and jockey Mitchell Pateman is booked to ride him first-up.
The Railway and Kingston Town entrant, recovered from back trouble, was not extended to win a 950m trial by 11/2 lengths in 56.66sec. when apprentice Tayla Stone rode him yesterday.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen him go,” trainer Lindsey Smith said. “He’ll trial again next Monday and then start in the Lee-Steere Stakes, with Mitch Pateman as his rider.”
The gelding sustained a back injury in Melbourne last year and has not raced for almost 12 months.
“He’s pulled up well from the trial,” Smith said.
“But we’ll maintain his daily back massage treatment.”
Profit Street and Market Ruler, who ran fourth and sixth behind Scales Of Justice yesterday, look primed for successful preparations.
The Peter Giadresco-trained Profit Street was fourth behind Viddora in last year’s Winterbottom. “He’s still big in condition after a break,” Giadresco said. “But he’ll trim quickly.”
Market Ruler has not raced since a winning hat-trick in 1000m events last May and June.
“The filly trialled without her blinkers today,” trainer Simon Miller said. “She’ll resume in the Belgravia Stakes.”