15 talented list of 15 runners have been included in 2015 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) nominations, highlighted by the inclusion of several of the Autumn Carnival’s most exciting fillies and mares.
Avoid Lightning was arguably lucky to take out the 2014 edition of the Birthday Card Stakes after leading contender Plucky Belle was checked and blocked for a run twice in the final straight, but has been included in nominations for a title defence on Saturday.
Posting a commendable race record of ten wins and a further seven minor place finishes from her 24 career starts so far, Avoid Lightning undoubtedly found career-best form in 2014; placing fifth in the Group 3 Roy Higgins Tribute Quality (1200m) first-up before taking out the Birthday Card Stakes.
Running a close second to subsequent Group 1 champion Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on April 19th, the Blevic mare won each of the At Sea Handicap (1100m) and Listed June Stakes (1100m) before placing third in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) on June 21st.
Returning to racing for an impressive win in her only spring start in the Group 3 The Nivison (1200m), Avoid Lightning placed third in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) first-up this time and will be particularly tough to beat this weekend.
Trainer Kris Lees experienced notable success via both Brook Road and Fine Bubbles in 2014, and has included the classy stable mates in 2015 Birthday Card nominations.
Finishing outside the top three only twice through her ten start career so far, Brook Road quickly built to the task upon resuming in spring; running second in each of the William Shaw Knitwear Handicap (1200m) and The Nivison before running third in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1400m) on November 8th.
Unable to break through for a maiden black type win prior, Lees elected to float the God’s Own mare to Brisbane in summer and was immediately rewarded for the move when the four-year-old charged home to win the Listed Travel Associates Fillies & Mares Plate (1400m).
Securing five wins and ten minor place finishes over her 28 competitive starts, Fine Bubbles also returned in impressive form last year; winning the Gouldson Law Fillies And Mares Handicap (1400m) and placing fifth amongst classy company in the Corona Beach Party Handicap (1200m) before taking out the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m).
2014 Golden Slipper champion Mossfun is yet to find competitive form since returning to racing this season, but is set to be offered a great chance of success at light weights in the 2015 Birthday Card Stakes.
Winning each of her first three career starts, including both the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) and Group 2 Silver Slipper (1100m), Mossfun suffered her first competitive defeat when second to Earthquake in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) before responding in the best way possible with Golden Slipper success.
Having placed sixth in each of the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) so-far this year, a favourable barrier will likely mean the difference in success for Mossfun this weekend.
The 2015 Birthday Card Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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2015 Birthday Card Stakes Nominations
|1||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody||100|
|2||ALL SALSA||Ron Quinton||72|
|4||AVOID LIGHTNING||Les Bridge||108|
|5||BOUND FOR EARTH||David Vandyke||92|
|6||BROOK ROAD||Kris Lees||90|
|7||FINE BUBBLES||Kris Lees||91|
|9||MIHIRI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||82|
|10||MOSSFUN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||103|
|11||PERON||Peter G Moody||97|
|12||SHAMALIA||Bart & James Cummings||89|
|13||TAHNI DANCER||Clinton McDonald||76|
|14||TAWTEEN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||88|