2015 Epona Stakes Nominations Released

March 17th, 2015

14 talented fillies and mares have been included in 2015 Epona Stakes (1900m) nominations, highlighted by the inclusion over several previous winners at the highest level of racing.

Rising Romance leads 2015 Epona Stakes nominations. Photo: Steve Hart

Rising Romance leads 2015 Epona Stakes nominations. Photo: Steve Hart

Talented Kiwi raider Rising Romance stamped her claims as a serious racehorse over the 2014 Australian calendar and has been included in 2015 Epona Stakes nominations.

Posting five wins and six minor place finishes from her 17 competitive starts so far, Rising Romance charged home to win the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial (1500m) in late 2013; placing third in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) on January 1st.

Placing second to Puccini in each of the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), the Ekraar mare crossed the Tasman for the first time to run a disappointing fourth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) before charging home to win the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).

Returning to Australian in spring for fourth in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) before a disappointing performance for seventh in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), Rising Romance ran a close second in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) before finishing just off the pace of Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Having performed well in two New Zealand events this year, Rising Romance is without doubt the class horse included in 2015 Epona Stakes nominations.

New Zealand is set to be offered several good chances of success in the Epona Stakes after both Role Model and Telepathic were also included for an appearance.

Beginning her racing career under the guidance of Peter and Dawn Williams before transferring to the care of Gai Waterhouse at the conclusion of 2013, Role Model has been set for the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes over a mile this season.

Posting three wins and a further five minor place finishes over just 14 competitive starts so far, the daughter of Bel Danoro has found good form leading into this weekend; running second in the James Boag’s Premium BM80 (1200m) first-up and winning the Lionel Walsh Handicap (1600m) before placing a credible fifth in the Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) last time out.

Having started her racing career under the care of Donna Logan before arriving at Chris Waller’s stables this year, Telepathic will also target the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.

Winning the Crown Castle BM85 (1400m) first-up, the Mossman mare placed fourth in the Aspiration Quality last time out and appears primed for a return to the winner’s circle in the Epona Stakes.

A final field and barrier draw for the 2015 Epona Stakes is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.

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2015 Epona Stakes Nominations

# Horse Trainer Hcp Rating
1 ADORABEEL (NZ) Joseph Pride 89
2 AMBIVALENT Ken Lantry 69
3 BALLET SUITE Chris Waller 72
4 BEL BARRAGE Scott Singleton 69
5 ENTERTAINS John O’Shea 82
6 INISHOWEN Lee & Anthony Freedman 76
7 INTIMATE MOMENT (NZ) Chris Waller 87
8 JIAYUGUAN (IRE) John P Thompson 73
9 ORIENTAL LADY (GER) Kris Lees 90
10 RISING ROMANCE (NZ) Donna Logan 110
11 ROLE MODEL (NZ) Gai Waterhouse 81
12 SABOR A TRIUNFO (CHI) Peter & Paul Snowden 92
13 SCRATCHY BOTTOM Michael Kent 82
14 TELEPATHIC (NZ) Chris Waller 85