This Saturday at Flemington Racecourse UK raider Slade Power will have his swansong race when debuting down under in the Darley Classic 2014 from a gun barrier four draw in the Emirates Stakes Day feature.
Running as Race 6 at 3:40pm (AEDT) as one of two elite levels on the program, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) features a field of 13 sprinters.
One of the most talked about leading up to the Melbourne Cup Carnival showdown is Edward Lynam’s Dutch Art stallion Slade Power racing in Australia for the first time on the weekend.
The smart sprinter won three on the trot in Ireland and then Britain earlier this year including back-to-back Group 1s that are both legs of the Global Sprint Challenge.
The Darley Classic is also part of this prestigious series of races and a lucrative bonus is on offer to Slade Power then should he back up from his July Cup win over the distance at Newmarket four months ago and win at Flemington.
In the July Cup he carried 60kg to victory from a wide barrier 13 of 13 draw so should appreciate barrier four and 58.5kg under the weight-for-age conditions on Saturday that will be his final race before retirement.
It is a start studded Darley Classic field this year and the big winner in the barrier draw was the defending Robert Hickmott-trained champion Buffering.
After finally breaking his Group 1 duck in the Manikato Stakes last spring Buffering went on to win two more elite levels including the VRC Sprint 12 months ago from the inside alley with Damien Browne in the saddle.
This year he was severely hampered in the Manikato on October 24 toughing it out after getting caught under pressure on the turn when beaten only half a length when seventh to Lankan Rupee.
On Saturday then the Mossman seven-year-old will be hoping from a clearer run in the same barrier he won the Classic from last spring, Browne staying on.
Buffering will also be out to turn the tables on his last start conqueror with Mick Price also backing Lankan Rupee up in the Darley Classic.
Chad Schofield has the ride on the Redoute’s Choice gelding replacing Craig Newitt aboard the world’s former number one rated sprinter.
Lankan Rupee won three Group 1s on the trot in the autumn and was second in both his September runs this time in before the narrow Manikato success he’ll be out to emulate at Flemington where he’s won two of his five previous starts.
Also coming off a crack run in the Manikato Stakes are the likes of the Noel Mayfield-Smith-trained third placegetter Famous Seamus, Rebel Dane (4th), Terravista (5th), Tony Gollan’s Group 1 winning Queensland Temple Of Boom (6th) and last year’s Manikato Stakes third placegetter Moment Of Change (8th) – who were all under a length off the winner in a blanket finish.
Before the Manikato, Elusive City gelding Famous Seamus won the Group 2 Premier Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the back of a third to the Joe Pride-trained Terravista in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on September 20.
Along with The Shorts, Captain Rio five-year-old Terravista also won the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) in August and is now looking to bring that top Sydney form when he debuts at Flemington on the weekend.
Other notable Darley Classic hopes this year include the John O’Shea-trained Royal Sovereign Stakes winner Sidestep racing first-up, Theo Marks Stakes champ Cluster for Peter & Paul Snowden and Chautauqua after his third on the trot from a nice barrier three draw following back-to-back wins at the track and distance this season.
The mares then round out the field with Gai Waterhouse’s last start runner-up over the 1200m here on Derby Day Driefontein and Darren Weir’s always honest Platelet, out to improve on an 11th in the Manikato Stakes, both drawn wide in barrier 10 and 13 respectively.
See below for the full Darley Classic 2014 field, barriers and jockeys.
Then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your favourites this Emirates Stakes Day enjoying up to $500 in bonus bets at the bookie that does it better!
2014 Darley Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 6 (3:40pm) – 08/11/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11x7333x17||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||1||58.5kg||118|
|2||1x1111x221||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Chad Schofield||11||58.5kg||119|
|3||661422×256||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison||9||58.5kg||108|
|4||2x2110x208||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2||58.5kg||111|
|5||10210x111x||SLADE POWER (IRE)||Edward Lynam||Mr Wayne Lordan||4||58.5kg||114|
|6||40460x211x||SIDESTEP||John O’Shea||James McDonald||5||58.5kg||102|
|7||7x2547x334||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Craig Williams||8||58.5kg||110|
|8||905190×313||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Tim Clark||7||58.5kg||110|
|9||12x110x115||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Hugh Bowman||6||58.5kg||108|
|10||2x12715x11||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3||58.5kg||108|
|11||5830×11215||CLUSTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||Damien Oliver||12||58.5kg||101|
|12||5110720×62||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||10||56.5kg||107|
|13||50x1222x20||PLATELET||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||13||56.5kg||111|