A who’s who of Australian sprinters feature among the nominations for the Newmarket Handicap.
Nominations for three feature races at Flemington in March were taken on Monday with the Newmarket attracting 70 nominations.
The Australian Cup has 55 entries while 110 three-year-olds are in the mix for the Australian Guineas.
Dual Group One winner Chautauqua is one of the headline nominations for the $1.25 million Newmarket (1200m) along with his Darley Classic conquerors from the past two years – 2015 winner Delectation and 2014 winner Terravista.
Chautauqua was Australia’s equal highest-rated sprinter for 2015 alongside Lankan Rupee who is sidelined until the spring because of injury.
Brilliant colt Exosphere, who impressed in a Sydney barrier trial on Monday, is one of 26 three-year-olds in the Newmarket along with his Australia Stakes-winning stablemate Holler, the Chris Waller-trained Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Japonisme and Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement.
The training partnership of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig sent out the first two across the line in the 2015 Australian Cup and have 12 horses nominated this year.
The Mick Price-trained Victoria Derby winner Tarzino is one of 14 three-year-olds in the Australian Cup entries while Godolphin trainer John O’Shea has nominated five horses – Magic Hurricane, Hartnell, Bow Creek, Hauraki and Arab Dawn.
The Australian Guineas is on March 5 with the Newmarket and Australian Cup a week later.
Weights for the Newmarket are released on March 1.