The world’s top three sprinters headline nominations for the $1 million Newmarket Handicap while Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist looms as a star attraction in the Australian Cup.
Joining Protectionist in the Australian Cup entries is three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux, the popular English stayer trained by Ed Dunlop.
Nominations were taken for three Flemington Group One races on Tuesday, with the Australian Cup on March 14 attracting 69 and the Newmarket Handicap 57.
The Australian Guineas for three-year-olds on March 7, has 122 entries including Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win, Thousand Guineas winner Amicus and Sandown Guineas winner Petrology.
This year’s Australian Guineas is on the same day as the Group One Randwick Guineas in Sydney.
Group One Darley Classic winner Terravista and last year’s Newmarket winner Lankan Rupee were ranked equal best in the world for 2014 and are set to meet again in the Newmarket (1200m).
They have clashed twice with Lankan Rupee winning the Manikato Stakes in the spring at Moonee Valley before Terravista showed his class with victory in the Darley over the Newmarket course and distance.
Triple Group One winner Lankan Rupee finished third that day and splitting the pair was Chautauqua who was ranked third in the international standings.
Newmarket nominations also include Chautauqua’s stablemates Deep Field and Golden Slipper winner Mossfun, the latter one of 19 three-year-olds in the entries.
Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Brazen Beau and the Ken Keys-trained Rich Enuff are among the other three-year-olds nominated for the Newmarket.
Weights for the Newmarket will be released on March 3.
Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller has 11 Australian Cup nominations including Victoria Derby winner Preferment who is also entered for the Australian Guineas.
Three-time Flemington Group One winner Happy Trails from the Paul Beshara stable has the Australian Cup as an autumn target.
Godolphin has six horses nominated for the Australian Cup including imports Contributer, It’s Somewhat and Hatnell.