Tuesday, 24 April 2012
: Day one of the Tab corp Warrnambool Carnvial promises to be a huge opening with 387 nominations received for next Tuesday.
The carnival, which features 27 races over three consecutive days, is the mecca of Austral,ian jumps racing with the $101,000 Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) the first of the week's jumps features on Tuesday.
Among the entries are the first two horses home in last year's Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool, hometown hero Al Garhood and Awakening Dream.
The feature jumps racing schedule for the carnival also includes the $101,000 Gallywood Hurdle (3200m) on Wednesday culminating in the carnival's jewel in the crown, the $253,500 Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m) on Thursday.
The feature jumps program is supported by a maiden hurdle on day one and a 0-120 hurdle on the final day.
The Brierly has attracted 19 nominations with Al Garhood set to return to the scene his some of his most meritorious victories.
Al Garhood, now a 12-year-old, is a two-time Brierly winner in 2008 and 2009 and has also captured the famous Grand Annual Steeplechase on two occasions in 2010 and 2011.
Joining Al Garhood among the nominations is former Perth Cup winner Cat's Fun and in-form chaser Phaze Action, who has won his last two outings over the fences at Sandown.
Experienced jumps trainers are also well represented in the nominations with Eric Musgrove entering two (Lucky Lurch and Rabukka) and New Zealander John Wheeler with Thomond Park, who ran for the first time in Australia at Oakbank over the Easter long weekend.
Local trainer Jarrod McLean, who trains Cat's Fun, has also nominated Big Jam while fellow Warrnambool-based trainer and Al Garhood's mentor, Ciaron Maher has also entered Iguazu and Pentocolo in the Brierly.Robert Smerdon
, who hopes to have another successful carnival as he has on numerous occasions in the past, particularly with Australia's best jumper, Black And Bent, has entered Fareer who is looking for a maiden victory over the fences.
The father/son training combination of Bill and Symon Wilde are again looking to have an impact at their home track during the week and have entered Megapixel and Key Symbol, both third at their most recent starts at Oakbank and Hamilton.
The maiden hurdle programmed for the opening day has attracted a list of 32 nominations and it is Musgrove who again leads the way with five entries.
The highly successful Cranbourne-based jumps trainer has entered Encosta Rica, End of Time, Heroically, Lucky Lurch and Round the Cape.
Robbie Laing, who has experienced great success at 'The Bool' over recent years including Sir Pentire winning the Grand Annual in 2009 after a two-year layoff from racing, has only one entry (Bellesanta) across the two jumping races on day one.
Tuesday's Brierly Steeplechase is the 4th leg of the 2012 J.J Houlahan Jumps Championship.