This Saturday the next major meeting of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival will light up Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, the day highlighted by the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m).
The 2011 Coolmore Classic nominations have been taken with 21 fillies and mares making up the early entries.Leading the nominees is the Gerald Ryan-trained Melito who has been allocated the top weight of 59.5kg for Saturday’s showdown.
Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Melito resumed for the season with a good win in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 19 before finishing fifth as the beaten favourite in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 5.
Dropping back to 1500m for the Coolmore should suite Melito, but she will have to step up 2.5kg in the weights if accepted.
The next heaviest weighted entry in this year’s Coolmore Classic with 55.5kg is Peter Snowden’s Commands five-year-old Purple.
During the spring Purple last finished an eye-catching second to Well Rounded in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) carrying 57.5kg and will be running first-up in the Coolmore Classic this weekend.
Last year’s Crown Oaks winning filly Brazilian Pulse is another top entry for the Coolmore Classic 2011, Michael Moroney’s three-year-old having resumed with a second place finish behind Do Ra Mi in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Coolmore Classic third placegetter behind Alverta last year, Palacio De Cristal, has been nominated again the Encosta De Lago five-year-old coming off a fifth to Flying Spur mare Montana Flyer in the Group 3 Millie Fox Quality (1300m) at Rosehill on February 26.
Millie Fox winner Montana Flyer is also set to back up in the Coolmore on Saturday, one of two entries for leading Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse along with her multiple Group winning More Than Ready filly More Strawberries.
Other recent winners from the autumn nominated for the Coolmore Classic include:
Mick Price’s Encosta De Lago four-year-old Aloha who took out the Group 3 PFD Food Services Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 5
Les Bridge’s Catbird mare Jersey Lily winner of the Listed Wiggle Quality at Warwick Farm last start
The John O’Shea-trained Reset mare Warpath who won the Listed Aspiration Quality (1600m) at Warwick Farm last Saturday, March 12
Peter Moody’s Flying Spur filly Miss Gai Flyer coming off back-to-back stakes wins in the Listed Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and the Listed Typhoon Tracy Moonee Valley Fillies Plate (1200m) on February 25.
The other most notable entry likely to start one of the Coolmore Classic betting favourites is accepted is the David Pifeffer-trained Graceful Anna.
The Canny Lad mare is coming off three close seconds this season when runner-up to More Joyous in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m), to Montana Flyer in the Millie Fox and most recently to Triple Elegance in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on March 5.
The 2011 Coolmore Classic final field and barrier draw will be released tomorrow, Wednesday March 16 and published here first at Races.com.au.
2011 Coolmore Classic Nominations
|#||Horse||Trainer||Ballot||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|3||PALACIO DE CRISTAL||Grahame Begg||=3||54.5||105|
|4||BRAZILIAN PULSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||=3||54||105|
|5||GRACEFUL ANNA||David Pfieffer||=5||54||104|
|6||LADY LYNETTE||David & Scott Brunton||=5||54||104|
|7||NO EVIDENCE NEEDED||John P Thompson||=5||54||104|
|9||JERSEY LILY||Les Bridge||=9||52.5||101|
|10||MONTANA FLYER||Gai Waterhouse||=9||52.5||101|
|11||MORE STRAWBERRIES||Gai Waterhouse||=11||52||98|
|12||STRAWBERRY FIELD||Gerald Ryan||=11||52||98|
|13||HIDDEN WONDER||Kris Lees||13||52||97|
|15||MISS GAI FLYER||Peter G Moody||15||52||94|
|16||HAPPY HIPPY||John P Thompson||16||52||93|
|18||GIRL HUSSLER||David Payne||18||52||90|
|19||PAGAN PRINCESS||Grahame Begg||19||52||88|
|20||TURNSTILES (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||20||52||86|
Photo courtesy (c) Steve Hart Photographics