While the biggest star of the Australian turf will take centre stage at Randwick, a host of other high profile horses will begin their seasons in stakes races at Caulfield.
Saturday’s P B Lawrence Stakes has attracted a star-studded list of entries headed by Godolphin’s Hartnell and the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart, the same day champion Winx resumes in another Group Two 1400m weight-for-age race – the Warwick Stakes – in Sydney.
Hartnell and Black Heart Bart are two of nine individual Group One winners among the 18 nominations for the Lawrence.
Weir has nominated Black Heart Bart, Humidor, Gailo Chop, Tosen Stardom, Star Exhibit and Amelie’s Star, while the Lindsay Park team has entered Toorak Handicap winner He’s Our Rokkii, Seaburge, and Tashbeeh.
Lankan Rupee is nominated for both the Lawrence and the Group Three Spring Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide.
Group One Vinery Stud Stakes winner Montoya’s Secret is entered for three Caulfield races but will resume in the Lawrence.
The Caulfield Cup over 2400m is Montoya’s Secret’s spring target and while co-trainer Troy Corstens is happy with how the mare is coming along, he is not expecting a winning return.
“I’m really pleased with her,” Corstens said.
“You wouldn’t expect too much of her over the 1400. She will probably just settle back and if she can go past four of five I’ll be rapt.
“She’s not a big, huge mare but she’s looking more and more like a stayer every day.
“I’m trying to get her to the Caulfield Cup. I think if she can get the 2400 metres, which I think she should, it will be a really nice race for her.”
Montoya’s Secret went from winning a Pakenham maiden in early March to claiming the the Group One Vinery (2000m) for fillies in Sydney two starts later.
Oaks ambitions were shelved after a cut on a leg became infected.
Her stakes-winning stablemate Kobayashi resumes in Saturday’s Group Three Vain Stakes which has 20 nominations.
Lindsay Park’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy headlines 21 nominations for the Group Three Quezette Stakes for fillies while her Group One-winning stablemate Vega Magic is highest-rated entry in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m).