John Thompson’s Group 1 winning filly First Seal has opened the odds-on favourite to defeat her older rivals in the 2015 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
The three-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock is after her second elite level victory in the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) having won the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the spring.
She’s faced off against the boys her own age when running a brave second to Hampton Court in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) last October, and looks in flying form this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
She was defeated first-up in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) when second to Adrift, but improved notably to storm home by nearly three lengths and win the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) last time out on February 28 at Warwick Farm.
Now First Seal faces the toughest test of her career, an open-age field of fillies and mares in the Coolmore Classic with 55.5kg on her back in the handicap clash.
While 11 three-year-old fillies have won the Coolmore Classic since 1983, including most recently Typhoon Tracy (2009), the last with the weight First Seal is allocated this weekend was Assertive Lass (1997).
First Seal then has a hefty weight to overcome and has also drawn wide in barrier 11 of 13.
That hasn’t deterred the bookies however who have kept her very safe in Coolmore Classic betting at a current quote of $1.70 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Incredibly she has such a stranglehold over the Coolmore Classic odds that none of her dozen rivals join her on single figures, First Seal tipped to be the first favourite in the race to win since Aloha (2011).
The next best in betting this year then is Plucky Belle at $11.
Peter Moody’s Mossman mare comes off a second to subsequent Group 1 Canterbury Stakes runner-up Catkins in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at the track on February 21.
She jumps from barrier eight, which hasn’t produced a Coolmore Classic Stakes winner since Red Express (1989), with Moody after his second win to add to that of Typhoon Tracy’s.
At $13 are then Thump and Mahara for the upset Coolmore Classic result.
The Kris Lees-trained Red Ransom four-year-old Thump has barrier seven, which has produced two of the past three Coolmore Classic winners with Steps In Time (2014) last year and Ofcourseican (2012).
Thump won the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) first-up at Randwick on February 14 and was far from disgraced when up against the boys running just over two lengths away sixth behind It’s Somewhat in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on Chipping Norton Stakes Day.
Mahara jumps from gate four and gets in on the 52kg minimum.
Peter & Paul Snowden’s Hussonet five-year-old is a Group 3 winner from Melbourne Cup Day last November, her latest effort being a third behind Danesiri in the Group 3 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) on February 28.
She had 56kg and barrier 12 that day so the drop back four kilos along with a gun barrier four draw on Saturday, which Assertive Lass won from in 1997, should see her improve.
Adrift is the other best fancied paying $15, Tommy Berry riding the Gai Waterhouse-trained Zabeel filly from barrier three on 52kg.
A winner of three of her five starts to date, Adrift beat First Seal home by three-quarters of a length first-up in the Light Fingers Stakes but could repeat the effort when seventh last time out in the Surround Stakes.
Four mares then round out the hopes under $20 all at $17 to win with Clarry Conners’ 58kg top weight Dear Demi ($17), Diamond Drille, Tinto and Arabian Gold in the outside barrier.
See below for the full Coolmore Classic 2015 betting odds, fixed win prices punters can lock in now online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $250 free bonus bet offer this season!