Sydney horseman David Vandyke has described the wide 2015 Coolmore Classic barrier draw for his hopeful Arabian Gold as a “horror” gate ahead of the Group 1 showdown at Rosehill Racecourse on Saturday.
Thirteen fillies and mares make up the field for this year’s $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m), the handicap clash jumping at 4:10pm (AEDT) as race seven in Sydney.
Coolmore Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are firmly led by Fastnet Rock three-year-old First Seal at $1.80, John Thompson’s Group 1 winning filly coming up against her older rivals for the first time here.
She is the only runner under double-figures in the latest Coolmore Classic betting markets giving punters plenty of value if they think the odds-on favourite looks vulnerable out in barrier 11.
With the far outside barrier though is Vandyke’s Dubawi four-year-old Arabian Gold, the striking grey looking to be the first of her age to win since Appearance (2013) two years ago.
Barrier 13 hasn’t produced a Coolmore Classic winner since another grey, Grahame Rogerson’s three-year-old Skating won the event as a short-priced favourite way back in 1993.
That doesn’t mean that outside draws have been altogether terrible however.
In recent Coolmore Classic history shows back-to-back winners from barrier 14 with Alverta (2010) and Typhoon Tracy (2009) both saluting from out wide.
Vandyke though believes his mare is at a disadvantage on Saturday in 13 as she looks to improve on her first-up eighth to Danesiri, who since suffered a tendon injury and will likely retire to serve as a broodmare, in the Group 3 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on February 28.
“It’s a horror draw for us,” Vandyke told AAP.
“She’s a mare who really appreciates a good barrier.
“It certainly dents our chances.”
Arabian Gold has won nine of her 21 starts to date, the most recent of which was a victory over Chris Waller’s recent Canterbury Stakes runner-up Catkins in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill last September.
Before that she was in Brisbane for the Winter Carnival and in flying form winning the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben before her second behind the Rex Lipp-trained Tinto, another $17 shot for the Coolmore Classic this weekend, in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
She has had just the one previous run at Rosehill, the Golden Pendant, but will need to overcome a bad gate and a crack favourite to win again on Saturday.
Arabian Gold pays $17 to win the Coolmore Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle looking for his maiden win in the race.
To get behind her for an upset Coolmore Classic result or to back one of her shorter-priced rivals, make sure you’ve got an account open at the country’s leading online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au!