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Bonneval UnderwoodDato Tan Chin Nam Stakes Holds Plenty of Interest

Saturday’s feature race in Melbourne, the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, holds plenty of interest for the farm with two-time Horse of the Year Bonneval (Makfi-Imposingly), and inform runner Night’s Watch, among the top three elects in the early markets.

Bonneval has not been seen at the races since her spring campaign last year where she took out the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes before going on to claim the Underwood Stakes Gr.1 and start favourite for the Caulfield Cup but the Baker/Forsman stable are sure to have her fine fettle heading into Saturday’s race off the back of a trial at Taupo and an exhibition gallop at Matamata.

A dual Oaks winner at three and Group 1 winner at four, Bonneval has won 7 of her 12 starts and more than A$1,600,000 in stakes for owners Alastair Lawrence, John Rattray, and Terry Jarvis.

Opposing Bonneval in the Dato Tan Chin Nam on Saturday is the very progressive Night’s Watch (Redwood-Glory Run) who will be having his first start in black type company. Bred by Gerry Harvey, Night’s Watch has a similar record to Bonneval, winning 7 of his 15 starts, albeit not at the elite level, but the manner in which he treated his rivals with contempt at Caulfield last week suggests he should not be underestimated and the market is very aware of his talent, installing the Redwood gelding as the $3.50 favourite for Saturday’s big race.

Historical Race

The Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes has long been an important race for spring aspirants with the Honour Roll carrying a host of famous names since its inception in 1948. First run as the Glenroy Stakes, the race was won by Phoibos before undergoing a name change in 1949 to the John F. Feehan Stakes, and run under this title until 2005 when renamed the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes. The Feehan Stakes was named after John F. Feehan who was the landowner of where the Moonee Valley Racecourse is now located.

The John F. Feehan Stakes was a popular launching pad for many of the great weight-for-age horses as they began their spring campaigns towards Melbourne’s best races. Among those to have won the John F. Feehan Stakes are Rising Fast, Tontonan, Wave King, Vice Regal, So Called, Arbogast, Lawman, Strawberry Road, King Delamere, Rubiton, Our Poetic Prince, Our Westminster, Better Loosen Up, Mannerism, Naturalism, Tristalove, Arctic Scent, Aerosmith, Inaflury, Sunline, Northerly, Fields of Omagh, El Segundo, Whobegotyou, Happy Trails and Fiorente.

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