2014 Dark Jewel Classic to Run as Group 3

Tomorrow at Scone on the second day of the Scone Cup Carnival the fillies and mares’ Dark Jewel Classic will run as a Listed feature but has received an upgrade to Group 3 status from 2014 on.


Mouro is favourite for today's 2013 Scone Cup. Photo: Steve Hart.

One of five black types on the program at the country NSW course, this year’s $200,000 Listed Darley Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) has attracted a full field of quality hopefuls from Sydney’s best stables.

Among the headline runners representing the big gun trainers are the Gai Waterhouse-trained Miss Stellabelle ($4.60F), Peter Snowden’s Shannara ($7.50) and Pipette ($7) for premiership winning horseman Chris Waller.

The consistent class of the contenders in recent years has seen the Australian Pattern Committee confirm the race’s upgrade to a Group 3 event next year which will be the Scone Racing Club’s first Group-class event.

“The Dark Jewel Classic has been afforded Group 3 status for next year so the meeting is going from strength to strength,” SRC’s chief executive Sarah Wills said.

There is also a chance one of Saturday’s other features, the newly renamed $140,000 Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) will also be considered for an advancement after rank sprinters including its multiple Group 1 performing namesake Ortensia ($6), the Kris Lees’ duo Anise ($9) and Motspur ($7) and the Peter Snowden-trained Anise ($9) were among the acceptors.

“If the Ortensia Stakes keeps attracting the quality of field we have got for (tomorrow) then the race would have to be knocking on the door for an upgrade, too,” Wills said.

Tomorrow will be the first time three of the meeting’s other big races run as Listed races boosting the card’s total prize money to over $1.43 million showing the progressive nature of the Scone Carnival.

“The two-year-old fillies race, the Woodlands Stakes and the three-year-old fillies race, the Denise’s Joy Stakes, and the open sprint, the Luskin Star Stakes, all have Listed status for the first time tomorrow,” Wills said.

In total there were 274 final acceptors for the Friday and Saturday race days at Scone this weekend, a unexpectedly high figure that pleased the club.

“We are over-joyed at the number of runners for both days it is unbelievable,” Wills said.

“We have not had the numbers and quality of entries before.

“The Scone Cup has attracted a great field, too, and if it continues to get such good quality horses, then the club will have a case to push for it to be upgraded, too.”

The $200,000 Listed Scone Cup (1600m) is scheduled as Race 7 at 4:02pm (AEST) this afternoon.

The favourites in the latest Scone Cup odds include last start Rowley Mile winner Mouro ($5.50), the Peter Snowden-trained Raspberries ($8) and Gai Waterhouse’s Epsom Handicap winning 61kg top-weight Fat Al ($9).

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