Elite Belle Included In Hyperion Stakes Field

Talented mare Elite Belle will have the opportunity to score her second straight win at Group 3 level when she contests the 2014 Hyperion Stakes at Belmont on Saturday.

Luckygray won the 2012 edition of the Hyperion Stakes, but will miss this year's race due to injury.

Luckygray won the 2012 edition of the Hyperion Stakes, but will miss this year's race due to injury. Photo by: Taron Clarke

Elite Bell started her winter campaign with an unlucky second in the Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m) at Belmont on May 17 before scoring her maiden victory at Group level with a dominant performance in the Belmont Sprint (1400m) at the same venue on May 31.

The Canny Lad mare scored two wins from the first ten starts of her racing career, but has found her best form as a five-year-old; taking out the Listed Carbine Club Of Western Australia Stakes (1400m) and Listed La Trice Classic (1800m) during the 2014 Perth Summer Racing Carnival.

Kalahaar finished second behind Elite Belle in the Belmont Sprint and will have the opportunity to turn-the-tables on the mare in the Hyperion Stakes this weekend.

The Choisir gelding will be stepping up to a mile for the first time in his racing career, but gives the impression that he will relish the rise in distance after running on strongly in both the Roma Cup and Belmont Sprint.

Settle Strada was one of the most consistent performers during the 2014 Perth Summer Racing Carnival, winning the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m), Listed Bolton Sprint (1200m), Listed Belmont Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Listed Goodwood Sprint (1300m), but has failed to fire in three starts this preparation.

The Strada gelding resumed with a fifth place finish in the Listed Northam Stakes (1100m) on May 4 and she failed to beat home a single runner in the Roma Cup before finishing sixth in the Belmont Sprint.

Veteran gelding Grand Nirvana has also made a slow start to his autumn campaign, finished ninth in the Roma Cup and eighth in the Belmont Sprint, while Adam Durrant-trained Ranger finished fifth in both events.

Bridgestone is the only horse in the Hyperion Stakes field that did not contest the Belmont Sprint and he will be returning to the races for the first time since he finished fifth in the B Jackson Handicap (2100m) at Belmont on July 13.

The Pentire gelding has run at Group level on nine occasions without success and has not lived up the potential that he showed as a younger horses when he finished fourth in the 2009 Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) and 2010 Group 1 WATC Derby (2400m).

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.