A super line-up of Group 1 winners and exciting sprinters are set to face off in the VRC Sprint Classic 2013 field at Flemington’s Emirates Stakes Day meeting this Saturday, November 9, which was previously known as the Patinack Farm Classic.
The $1 million, Group 1, 1200m sprint is without sponsorship after the impoverishment of Patinack Farm racing and so will be run in 2013 under its traditional title.
One of the highlights of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, this year’s VRC Sprint Classic field has attracted 14 hopefuls with Lucky Nine to wear the No. 1 saddlecloth.
Caspar Fownes’ visiting Dubawi gelding from Hong Kong boasts five Group 1 international victories most recently having defeated Australia’s Bel Sprinter in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore back in May.
They made their highly anticipated Australian debut at Moonee Valley on October 25 and went down by the barest of margins to crowd favourite Buffering in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
It took Rob Heathcote’s Queensland galloper Buffering 18 attempts but the son of Mossman finally broke their Group 1 maiden status under the lights at the Valley and will look to go back-to-back having also been accepted for this week’s VRC Sprint Classic field.
Lucky Nine will again be ridden by Brett Prebble with the duo jumping from a wider gate nine draw.
Six-year-old Buffering and their regular hoop Damian Browne meanwhile have come up trumps with barrier one as they look to keep the winning streak going having played the bridesmaid on too many Group 1 occasions over the past few seasons.
The bulk of sprinters that contested the Manikato Stakes are also backing up in the VRC Sprint Classic this weekend including third and fourth over the line, Sessions and Moment Of Change.
The Peter Snowden-trained Sessions has drawn to perfection in gate three for the rematch, the consistent Lonhro four-year-old looking to return to the winners’ stall after their Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) victory at Randwick two back.
Sydney trainer Snowden is shooting for his second VRC Sprint Classic win in as many years following the success of Mental in the race 12 months ago who broke their Group 1 maiden in the then-Patinack Farm Classic.
Snowden will also saddle-up Epaulette this year form gate two who is looking to improve on their first-up seventh to Samaready in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) from September.
As for the Peter Moody-trained Manikato fourth placegetter Moment Of Change, they are set to start from another favourable barrier four draw with Luke Nolen aboard.
The Barley A Moment five-year-old has just been off them this season having also run fourth in the Moir Stakes, Moody hoping that the roomier Flemington track will see them finish closer on Saturday.
Rebel Dane (5th), Bel Sprinter (6th) and Shamexpress (9th) are also all coming via the Manikato, none beaten more than one and a half lengths by Buffering in the blanket finish.
Gary Portelli’s California Dane stallion Rebel Dane has gate five with Glen Boss to ride on the weekend looking to return to their form from two back that saw them win the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) over the extra distance at Caulfield.
Jason Warren’s KrisFlyer International runner-up Bel Sprinter then vies for their first turf triumph since beating home Snitzerland in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill during the autumn.
Shamexpress meanwhile is also a former Group 1 champion having won the Newmarket Handicap over Moment Of Change at Flemington back in March before connections sent the Danny O’Brien-trained son of O’Reilly to England for a failed two run campaign during the Northern Hemisphere summer.
See below for the full VRC Sprint Classic 2013 final field, barriers and jockeys with odds to follow shortly from our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au – the place to go for all your spring punting!
2013 VRC Sprint Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 6 – 3:00pm (AEST) – 09/11/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||51551471×2||LUCKY NINE (IRE)||Caspar Fownes||Brett Prebble||9||58.5kg||118|
|2||68x1432x21||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||1||58.5kg||114|
|4||x7570x2280||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||James McDonald||12||58.5kg||106|
|5||579x132x66||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Michael Rodd||10||58.5kg||110|
|6||1x2205x244||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||58.5kg||108|
|7||3x161x97x9||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||8||58.5kg||107|
|8||775010×921||FONTELINA||Anthony Cummings||Nash Rawiller||6||58.5kg||107|
|9||x1240x1415||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Glen Boss||5||58.5kg||109|
|11||6553x113x1||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Craig Williams||13||58.5kg||104|
|12||5x3211x415||PLATELET||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||7||56.5kg||110|
|14||11x270x244||VILLA VERDE||Shaun Dwyer||Chad Schofield (a)||11||51.5kg||82|