On Saturday February 13 Moonee Valley racecourse is set to host the 85th running of the William Reid Stakes. Formerly called the Australia Stakes, this year the race name has reverted back to its original title and will be known as the 2010 Pulse Pharmacy William Reid Stakes (1200m).
This year’s event is already shaping up to be one of the real autumn highlights with last week’s Lightning Stakes winner Nicconi committed to the race by his trainer David Hayes.
The $500 000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes will be the four-year-olds’ last Australian start before heading overseas to embark on his first international campaign.
The promising filly Black Caviar is another top sprinter likely to start in the 2010 William Reid Stakes. The unbeaten three-year-old trained by Peter Moody has five successive race wins under her belt including her last start victory in the Group 2 Australian Stakes (formerly the Carlyon Stakes) at Moonee Valley on January 22.
Also confirmed as a William Reid Stakes contender is the Anthony Cummings-trained classy five-year-old Turffontein. The son of Johannesburg is already a Group 1 winner having taken out the 2008 Rupert Clark Stakes. He will get his chance again in the William Reid Stakes after he impressed Cummings at his latest Randwick trail.
Many of the William Reid Stakes runners are using the Group 1 sprint feature as their lead-up to the coveted $1million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) held at Flemington on March 6.
Winner of the past two William Reid Stakes, when the race was known as the Australia Stakes, the striking baldy faced chestnut gelding Apache Cat will be greatly missed this year.
The seven-year-olds’ chance of winning three successive times in the event was cut short during his Hong Kong campaign last year when he suffered a career ending injury while contesting the Hong Kong Sprint that saw his early retirement.
Nominations for the 2010 William Reid Stakes close on Monday February 8, 2010 at 12:00pm. Weights will then be announced the next day, Tuesday February 9, followed by the acceptances on Wednesday February 10 at 9:00am.