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New Zealand feature nominations mark the start of the Australasian spring

July 25, 2012

Nominations for New Zealand’s triple crown closed yesterday, with a number of Kiwis likely to head to Melbourne after contesting these races.

The triple crown consists of the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) on September 1, the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on September 22 and the Group 1 Spring Classic (2040m) on October 6. All races are run at the Hawke’s Bay track of Hastings.

Entered for all three races are the likes of Auckland Cup winner Shez Sinsational, Rosehill Guineas runner-up Ocean Park, Railway Stakes first past the post He’s Remarkable and Telegraph Handicap winner Guiseppina.

Others entered for all three races are Group 1 placegetter Fleur De Lune, the promising Green Supreme and the once highly touted (Sir) Time Keeper.

Toorak Handicap winner (King) Mufhasa is entered for the first two legs, with another tilt at the Toorak Handicap a likely goal, as is multiple Group 1 winner Veyron.

Comeback galloper Eagle Mountain, a winner of the Hong Kong Cup in 2008, is entered for the Spring Classic, which was formerly known as the Kelt Capital Stakes.

While, on paper, the nominations look fairly disappointing, it is another sign that spring is just around the corner. Interest will intensify within the next two weeks with Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate nominations due to close on Tuesday August 7.

Melbourne Cup nominations close on September 4.

Here are the entries for the Makfi Challenge Stakes, Windsor Park Plate and Spring Classic.

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