The Gong attracts 32 nominations

The Illawarra Turf Club holds the Sydney metropolitan meeting on Saturday with 32 nominations received on Monday for the feature Quality Handicap, the $1m, The Gong (1600m).

Matthew Dunn has put forward Cepheus (GB) with the seven-year-old Sea The Stars gelding in fine form earning his connections $1.642 million from his last three starts. On September 23rd Cepheus won the Group 2 Shannon Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill and returned to the course on October 7th to win the Alan Brown over 1400m.

Cepheus was then a 1 1/4L second to Attractable in The Big Dance over 1600m at Randwick on Melbourne Cup Day, October 7th.

The Waller stable have nominated seven in their quest to  earn another The Gong victory headed by New Mandate (IRE), the winner of the Listed Ladies Day Cup over 1500m at Hawkesbury on November 9th. The six-year-old New Bay gelding carried 58.5kg over Jojo Was A Man with 55.5kg and Waller stablemate Skyman (NZ) with 60kg.

Along with New Mandate and Skyman the stable have put forward Ace Of King’s (IRE), Osipenko (NZ), last start Group 2 Hot Danish Stakes winner Roots, Waterford (IRE) and Wicklow (IRE).

Overall the ten race programme received 215 nominations.

The track is rated a Good 4 on Monday with the rail to be in the True position for the entire circuit.

The weather for Kembla Grange this week is forecast to be cloudy with showers each day with up to 4mm possible each day and temperatures of 24c on Tuesday to 22c on Friday. Saturday’s forecast is for a cloudy day with showers and a possible 6mm with 17c to 22c

Kembla Grange nominations

Cepheus (GB), picture