Prince Of Sussex will be among the favourites. Picture: Getty
Prince Of Sussex will be among the favourites. Picture: Getty

$1m showdown scramble for Caulfield spots

THE scramble for places in The Showdown, Victoria's new $1 million race, almost certainly means a capacity field at Caulfield on Saturday - and disappointment for connections of several well-credentialed youngsters.

Ahead of final acceptances on Wednesday, 32 two-year-olds are among the nominations for the The Showdown (1200m), which is named in honour of the successful stallion of the 1970s.

The race is open only to the progeny of Victorian-based sires.

Swettenham Stud's shuttle stallion Toronado has the most nominees, headed by Matt Laurie's talented Prince Of Sussex, who bolted in with the VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo last month.

With earnings of $137,500, Prince Of Sussex is guaranteed a start.

Peter and Paul Snowden's Hightail heads the ballot with prizemoney of $273,240.

Royal Ascot winner Starspangledbanner has four progeny nominated for the race.

With a field limit of 16 starters and four emergencies, there is a string of well-bred youngsters hovering below the likely entry cut-off.

Peter and Paul Snowden’s Hightail (R) heads the ballot with prizemoney of $273,240. Picture: AAP
Peter and Paul Snowden’s Hightail (R) heads the ballot with prizemoney of $273,240. Picture: AAP

In a field of contrasting backgrounds, Geraldine's Jewel - a $5500 purchase - could duel with Tony McEvoy's Sisstar, a sister of gun sprinter Sunlight and a $600,000 yearling.

With a $500,000 winners' cheque on offer, Lindsay Park is likely to send at least two youngsters into the fray, led by Mornington debut winner Mishe Mokwa.

Racing Victoria's Greg Carpenter said: "We are delighted with the quality and depth of the nominations received for the first ever running of The Showdown.

"The VOBIS program offers breeders and owners incredible incentives to race their horses in Victoria, and with $1 million in prizemoney and bonuses up for grabs, it is no surprise that The Showdown has attracted some highly talented sprinters.

Racing Victoria Executive General Manager Greg Carpenter. Picture: AAP
Racing Victoria Executive General Manager Greg Carpenter. Picture: AAP

"Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday is a great celebration of the thoroughbred industry in this state, and The Showdown is the headline act on what promises to be a fascinating day of high-quality racing at Caulfield next Saturday."

Seven VOBIS Gold Premier races are scheduled, boasting more than $2.5 million in prizemoney and bonuses.