Having battled for top spot in betting after nomination stage earlier in the week, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Sweet Idea heads a capacity field of fillies and mares for the 2014 Myer Classic on Saturday.
The four-year-old daughter of Snitzel has been in flying form this season and on the weekend shoots for a deserving Group 1 win in the $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Drawn on the rails with barrier one in the bumper 16-starter, four-emergency Myer Classic field, Sweet Idea will be ridden by Tommy Berry who has ridden her for three of her four runs this time in.
She’s been tested in Group 1 company five times for three top three runs to date but an elite level victory has so far eluded her.
A dual Group 2 winner this season, Sweet Idea ran second to Dissident second-up in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and fourth to Trust In A Gust in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) both at Caulfield in her two Group 1 runs of the spring leading into the Myer Classic.
Waterhouse, who has saddled up 11 Myer Classic hopes over the years for one win, has also accepted for two other mares this year with Diamond Drille (barrier three) and Forever Loved (barrier 13) drawn at opposite ends of the field.
Steven Arnold rides Diamond Drille, the Al Maher back up to a mile for the first time since her Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) victory at Randwick on April 19 and seeing Flemington for the first time.
In the wider barrier Forever Loved will be ridden by Tim Clark, the High Chaparral four-year-old won the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1400m) here at Flemington two back before a distant 12th in the Group 3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) on October 15.
Sweet Idea’s main danger on the weekend meanwhile is drawn wider in barrier 11 with Brad Rawiller to ride the Darren Weir-trained May’s Dream.
May’s Dream is another previous Group 1 winner having taken out the Schweppes Oaks over 2000m in Adelaide back in late April.
Her last two runs this time in have also been strong when third in the Blazer Stakes and fourth in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) behind Sweet Idea on October 18.
Sydney’s best trainer Chris Waller meanwhile ran the Myer Classic quinella last year with Red Tracer and Catkins, his 2013 runner-up back looking to go one better 12 months later.
This year Catkins jumps from barrier eight with Damien Oliver replacing Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Bowman had previously ridden the Dubawi grey for her three spring runs this season for a win first-up at Rosehill in the Group 3 Sheraco stakes (1200m), second as the beaten odds-on favourite behind Arabian Gold in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) also in Sydney and last start third in the Tristarc Stakes.
Also well fancied in the Myer Classic betting markets is sure to be Robert Smerdon’s Street Sense four-year-old Politeness in barrier 10 who is looking to improve on a Blazer Stakes fourth and Tristarc fifth when she steps up to the mile for just the second time.
David Hayes & Tom Dabernig have two livewire Myer Classic hopes this year saddling up Girl Guide and Star Fashion.
Craig Williams’ mount Girl Guide won the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m) in September before two second place finishes most recently in the Tristarc Stakes.
She will have to be at her best here however as she goes up to 1600m for the first time, runs at Flemington for the first time and gets the outside barrier.
Star Fashion shoots for her third straight win and has come up trumps with barrier two as the daughter of Street Cry looks to retain her unbeaten stats for the season.
Her last start was a mile win in the Group 3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) at Caulfield and she has strong form up to 2000m having run second to May’s Dream in the Schweppes Oaks.
Other notable Myer Classic final acceptors include the Angst Stakes winner Neena Rock and the locally-trained Solicit coming off a Group 1 eighth in the Toorak Handicap.
Nigel Blackiston meanwhile opted not to accept for Suavito after she won the Group 3 Teiso Stakes (1600m) last weekend on Cox Plate Day.
See below for the full Myer Classic 2014 field, barriers and jockeys.
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2014 Myer Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 8 (4:30pm) – 01/11/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11729×1241||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||1||57kg||111|
|2||1316x4x123||CATKINS||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||8||57kg||110|
|3||1x58141x87||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||Steven Arnold||3||57kg||105|
|4||8x4131x734||MAY’S DREAM||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||11||57kg||101|
|5||414115×080||VIADANA (NZ)||Lance Noble||Joao Moreira||7||57kg||103|
|6||1107×68407||BONARIA||Pat Hyland||Michael Rodd||16||57kg||98|
|7||x11429x728||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||5||57kg||103|
|8||113x70x620||ENQUARE||Jason McLachlan||Craig Newitt||18||57kg||90|
|9||501718×592||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||Brenton Avdulla||19||57kg||92|
|10||21113×1122||GIRL GUIDE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||20||57kg||95|
|11||21034×4010||FOREVER LOVED (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||13||57kg||96|
|12||2350×49983||YOU’RE SO GOOD (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Chad Schofield||14||57kg||88|
|13||x194226x11||STAR FASHION||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||2||57kg||95|
|14||37x621x445||POLITENESS||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||10||57kg||93|
|15||15x3601x80||MYAMIRA||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||9||57kg||92|
|16||222110×341||NEENA ROCK||John Sargent||Tye Angland||6||57kg||95|
|17e||1x34310x96||GIRL IN FLIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||Kerrin McEvoy||17||57kg||89|
|18e||80x4400x54||ZONZA (NZ)||Roger James||Dwayne Dunn||12||57kg||98|
|19e||471084×112||QUAYSIDE||Peter G Moody||James McDonald||4||57kg||94|
|20e||x131124x51||MAHARA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||15||57kg||87|