The final field and barrier draw for the marquee race on the Rosehill programme this Saturday, the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m), have been released with 17 fillies and mares accepted for the autumn feature.Early favourite in the Coolmore Classic field Melito has suffered a blow drawing wide with barrier 11.
The Gerald Ryan-trained Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Melito is also the 59.5kg topweight of the field, meaning the dual Group 1 winning mare has plenty of work to do on Saturday.
Melito enjoyed a first-up win this season in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 19 where she beat Hot Danish by nearly two lengths.
However, when stepping up to the mile last start in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm on March 5 Melito could only manage a fifth place finish behind winner Danleigh.
Other early fancies in this year’s Coolmore Classic that have drawn poorly include the Peter Snowden-trained Purple (barrier 13), the Mick Price-trained Aloha (barrier 10) and Gai Waterhouse’s Montana Flyer (barrier 14).
Despite their wide draws, Aloha and Montana Flyer are still likely to get plenty of attention from the punters in the Coolmore Classic betting markets at Luxbet.
Carrying just 53kg, Encosta De Lago mare Aloha is coming off a big two length victory in the Group 3 PFD Food Services Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 5 where she carried 3.5kg more than her Coolmore weight.
Montana Flyer is also well-weighted for Saturday set to carry just 52.5kg with apprentice jockey Tommy Berry booked for the ride, the Flying Spur five-year-old also coming off a black-type victory having won the Group 3 Millie Fox Quality (1300m) at Rosehill on February 26.
Waterhouse has also paid up for multiple Group winning filly More Strawberries on Saturday, the daughter of More Than Ready drawing the far outside barrier 17.
Millie Fox runner-up Graceful Anna and third placegetter Jersey Lily have also both been accepted for the Coolmore Classic on Saturday.
The David Pfieffer-trained Graceful Anna has drawn ideally in barrier five, due to carry 54kg with champion hoop Damien Oliver in the mount.
After running a devastatingly close second to Montana Flyer in the Millie Fox, Canny Lad four-year-old Graceful Anna went on to run another close second to Triple Elegance in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on March 5.
Jersey Lily is another excellent pick for punters in the Coolmore Classic odds at Luxbet, Les Bridge’s improving Catbird mare coming off a last-start victory in the Listed Wriggle Quality (1400m) at Warwick Farm and due to jump from barrier six carry just 52.5kg on Saturday.
Other last-start winners looking for back-to-back autumn wins in the Coolmore this weekend are the John O’Shea-trained Warpath and Peter Moody’s Miss Gai Flyer.
Four-year-old Reset mare Warpath stormed home to claim an easy 2 ½ length victory in the Listed Aspiration Quality (1600m) at Warwick Farm last Saturday and after drawing well with barrier four in the Coolmore looks an excellent chance to step up to Group company for the first time.
Coming up trumps in the 2011 Coolmore Classic barrier draw was Lady Lynette with the inside running from gate one, the six-year-old from Tassie coming off a fifth place finish to star-in-the-making Pinker Pinker in the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington last weekend.
One notable defector from the Coolmore Classic is Crown Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au throughout the week for the latest Coolmore Classic field and betting updates including the odds when released, insider race tips and our exclusive form guide analysis.
2011 Coomore Classic Field, Barriers & Weights
|#||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|1||MELITO||Gerald Ryan||Hugh Bowman||11||59.5||115|
|3||PALACIO DE CRISTAL||Grahame Begg||Brenton Avdulla||2||54.5||105|
|4||GRACEFUL ANNA||David Pfieffer||Damien Oliver||5||54||104|
|5||LADY LYNETTE||David & Scott Brunton||Michael Rodd||1||54||104|
|6||NO EVIDENCE NEEDED||John P Thompson||James Winks||9||54||104|
|7||ALOHA||Mick Price||Glen Boss||10||53||102|
|8||JERSEY LILY||Les Bridge||Tim Clark||6||52.5||101|
|9||MONTANA FLYER||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry (a)||14||52.5||101|
|10||MORE STRAWBERRIES||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Cassidy||17||52||98|
|11||STRAWBERRY FIELD||Gerald Ryan||Craig Williams||15||52||98|
|12||HIDDEN WONDER||Kris Lees||Daniel Ganderton||3||52||97|
|13||LOVEMELIKEAROCK||Anthony Cummings||Corey Brown||7||52||96|
|14||MISS GAI FLYER||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||8||52||94|
|15||HAPPY HIPPY||John P Thompson||–||12||52||93|
|16||WARPATH||John O’Shea||Christian Reith||4||52||92|
|17||TURNSTILES (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Rod Quinn||16||52||86|
Photo courtesy (c) Steve Hart Photographics