2014 Frank Packer Plate Nominations Released

April 22nd, 2014

A talented field of 13 three-year-olds have been nominated for a position in the 2014 Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick this weekend, including in-form filly Arabian Gold.

Arabian Gold has been included in nominations for the 2014 Frank Packer Plate

Arabian Gold has been included in nominations for the 2014 Frank Packer Plate. Photo: Steve Hart

Amassing an impressive total of six wins and two places from only 15 competitive starts to date, Arabian Gold has steadily built to the task over four races this preparation; finishing a competitive fifth in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up and eighth amongst classy company  in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) on March 8th.

Disappointing when unable to overcome an early check and 11th in the Group 3 Keith F Nolan Classic (1600m) on March 23rd, the Dubawi filly returned to impressive form when strolling home to win the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) on day 1 of The Championships at Randwick last time out.

Having also been included in nominations for the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at South Australia’s Morphettville racecourse this weekend, trainer David Vandyke will allow final fields and barrier draws finalise the path taken by Arabian Gold this weekend.

Also included in nominations for the 2014 Frank Packer Plate is John O’Shea-trained Savvy Nature.

Securing a strong record of three wins and five places from only 12 race starts to date, Savvy Nature contested a particularly strong 2013 spring preparation; winning both the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) and finishing third in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) most notably.

Returning to the track in typically strong form this season, the Savabeel gelding finishing a fighting third amongst classy competition in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) first-up before finishing an unlucky seventh when blocked for a run in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th.

Returning to strong form in each of his last two starts, Savvy Nature was unlucky when finishing just outside the places in fourth in both the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) most recently.

A performer from both inside, central and wide barriers, O’Shea is confident Savvy Nature’s experience and class will prevail in this weekend’s Frank Packer Plate.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse is set to be offered twice the chance of success in this weekend’s Frank Packer Plate, having nominated talented runners Liberty’s Choice and Pheidon.

While only claiming one race win so far, Liberty’s Choice has gained a tag as a particularly consistent performer, having finished in the places a further seven times in only eleven competitive starts.

Returning the track in typically strong form this time in, the Redoute’s Choice colt finished third in the Canberra Guineas (1400m) first-up, and while unlucky when blocked for a run in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on March 22nd, returned to good form when third in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) last time out.

Finishing outside the places just once in six race starts to date, Pheidon has quickly registered as a three-year-old to watch, claiming his first two race starts and working towards a strong victory in the Group 1 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m); his first tilt at a Group level event.

A final field of 12 plus emergencies and barrier draw for the 2014 Frank Packer Plate is due to be released on Wednesday.

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2014 Frank Packer Plate Nominations

# Horse Trainer Hcp Rating
1 ARABIAN GOLD David Vandyke 91
2 EQUATOR Gai Waterhouse 81
3 GAMBLESTOWN (NZ) Guy Walter 73
4 GOTTA ZIP Anthony Cummings 58
5 HOOKED John P Thompson 96
6 LIBERTY’S CHOICE Gai Waterhouse 78
7 MALICE Peter Snowden 74
8 OUR UNCLE ARCHIE Steve Englebrecht 64
9 PHEIDON Gai Waterhouse 85
10 SAVVY NATURE (NZ) John O’Shea 96
11 SHIKRA Peter Snowden 69
12 SHOW THE WORLD (NZ) Murray Baker 76
13 TAKEWING Jason Coyle 66