Though the Stakes racing action is finished in the Melbourne metropolitan area for another Spring, it has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm for Saturday’s eight-race program at Moonee Valley which has attracted a whopping 256 entries. In the first of two $100,000 features on the card, an open handicap over 1600m, a quality list of 26 nominations has been assembled highlighted by the Chris Waller-trained pair of Disciple and Multilateral.

Both more than competitive over the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington, should either of the duo hope to win on Saturday they could have to defeat a tough field.

Other key entries in the race include Dennis O’Leary’s multiple Stakes-winner Outlandish Lad, the Danny O’Brien-trained pair of Xavi and The New Boy, consistent gelding Lord Durante and in-form mare Double Dee.

The second of the two features is a 1200m sprint for the fillies and mares which has attracted 37 entries headed by Brian Cox’s progressive mare Sumakaray.

As well as already being a winner at Moonee Valley, the four-year-old daughter of Manner Hill boasts impressive form having finished fourth at Group 3 level and runner-up in Listed grade at her last two starts.

Other key entries include the Darren Weir-trained pair of Royal Bender and Vain Attraction, Group 3 placegetter Flash Of Doubt, Stakes-winning Adelaide mare Dashitude and the in-form Lady Antebellum.

By sheer weight of numbers, Saturday’s 1200m 0-78 Handicap leads the way with a staggering 63 nominations.

Included among the list of entries is the Mark Kavanagh-trained Oltre Finito who is unbeaten in three starts and hasn’t been seen since an impressive victory at Sportingbet Park Sandown in May.

A further highlight is the 1000m handicap for the speedsters which features 23 entries headed by reigning Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge champion Vatican.

Also on the list of nominations is track specialist and Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) winner Sea Lord, Peter Moody’s pair of short course specialists Planet Voyage and Flamberge as well as talented New South Wales raider Unanimously.

Click here to view the full list of nominations for Moonee Valley on Saturday