Last year’s Darley Classic winner Terravista is one of the top-rated nominations taken for the 2015 edition of the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s sprint showdown at Flemington Racecourse this November.
Run on Saturday November 7 as one of the headline acts on the Emirates Stakes Day this spring in Victoria, the $1 million Group 1 VRC Darley Classic (1200m) has attracted a total of 62 sprinters up from 60 in 2014.
Joe Pride‘s Captain Rio gelding Terravista won the race off a Manikato Stakes fifth last year in his final run of the spring and contests the same Moonee Valley lead-up this October on way to a Darley Classic title defence where he looks to become the first back-to-back winner since the mighty Black Caviar (2010-2011).
Pride has also nominated for last start Concorde Stakes runner-up Craftiness, Group 2 winner Rock Sturdy, 2014 The Galaxy champ Tiger Tees and the super consistent Dubawi five-year-old Ball Of Muscle.
From 15 starts Ball Of Muscle is yet to finish worse than third and was last seen runner second to Rebel Dane in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 19.
Last start The Shorts winner Rebel Dane is also nominated for the Darley Classic this spring, the Gary Portelli-trained son of California Dane best known for his 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes win in elite level company.
Along with Terravista the next four best over the line in last year’s Darley Classic are also all in the mix again for the remix this season with: Chautauqua (2nd), Lankan Rupee (3rd), Buffering (4th) and Moment Of Change (5th).
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Chautauqua has had four Group 1 runs for four top three finishes so far, the $2.5 million earner having won the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) during the autumn.
He returned on September 5 at Moonee Valley to win the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) in a fine start to his spring.
Lankan Rupee enjoyed a winning Cranbourne trial at the start of this week as Mick Price prepares to bring back his five-time Group 1 champion who was second in last year’s Darley Classic on the back of a Manikato win at the Valley.
He won in top class again first-up in February at Flemington but was unplaced in his two subsequent autumn runs including a ninth when beating home just one other runner in the TJ Smith Stakes.
Buffering is another former Manikato Stakes winner in the Darley Classic mix this year, the Brisbane-based galloper trained by Robert Heathcote.
Mossman gelding Buffering’s last Group 1 win was in the Moir Stakes last September and his last start was overseas when crossing a mid-field sixth to Aerovelocity in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) in December.
Moment Of Change represents triple Darley Classic winning trainer Peter Moody who has won the race previously with Ancient Song (2003) and Black Caviar for her back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011.
A seven-year-old son of Barley A Moment, Moment Of change hasn’t raced since late January.
Other headline Darley Classic nominees in 2015 include unbeaten Singapore three-year-old champ Super One, classy mare Bounding prepared by 2012 Darley Classic winning trainer Peter Snowden (Mental) and his son Paul, as well as seven from the star Sydney stables of Chris Waller.
Looking to make his mark in Melbourne this spring Waller’s Darley Classic contingent includes Group 1 winners Boban and Cox Plate favourite Kermadec as well as last start Theo Marks Stakes winning Street Cry mare Winx and JJ Atkins winner Press Statement who is one of 17 three-year-olds in the mix.
Another notable three-year-old looking to break a drought for their age group going back to Pharein (1999) is a half-brother to Snitzerland Sooboog for Team Hawkes, the Snitzel colt having won one of his four starts to date.
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2015 Darley Classic Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 07/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer|
|1||19x4348x4x||AFLEET ESPRIT||M||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|2||x4130x424x||ALPHA MISS||M||4||Robert Smerdon|
|3||2x31425x7x||ANGELIC LIGHT||M||6||Robbie Griffiths|
|4||121x221x32||BALL OF MUSCLE||G||5||Joseph Pride|
|5||15×1||BASSETT (NZ)||G||3||Peter G Moody|
|6||011×7||BLACK VANQUISH||C||3||Tom Hughes|
|8||x12x202x13||BOUNDING||M||5||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|9||8740x2497x||BRING ME THE MAID||M||4||Peter G Moody|
|10||31x08x171x||BROOK ROAD||M||5||Kris Lees|
|12||620x565x89||BULL POINT||H||5||Tony McEvoy|
|14||12x1213x1x||CHAUTAUQUA||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|15||0x3041x211||CHURCHILL DANCER||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|19||11122x24x1||DISPOSITION||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|21||43x2301x2x||FLAMBERGE||G||6||Peter G Moody|
|24||26x7820x88||GIRL GUIDE||M||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|25||50x2326x73||GREGERS||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|27||171×1||HARDLINE (NZ)||C||3||Liam Birchley|
|29||x43431x521||KERMADEC (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller|
|30||21×1||KINGLIKE||C||3||Peter G Moody|
|32||3x32813x8x||KURO (NZ)||H||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|33||x2213x169x||LANKAN RUPEE||G||6||Mick Price|
|35||4x21x3||MAWAHIBB||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|36||77x122813x||MISS PROMISCUITY||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|38||0x20856x3x||MOMENT OF CHANGE||G||7||Peter G Moody|
|40||1×3||PAINTED FIRETAIL||F||3||John O’Shea|
|41||111×25||PRESS STATEMENT||C||3||Chris Waller|
|42||32174x1x||PUZZLING WONDER||H||4||Anthony Cummings|
|43||x3347x60x1||REBEL DANE||H||6||Gary Portelli|
|44||3x11127x26||RICH ENUFF||H||4||Ken Keys|
|45||112x21611x||ROCK ROYALTY||G||7||Liam Birchley|
|46||1421x827x5||ROCK STURDY||H||5||Joseph Pride|
|48||2x355x1133||SEBRING SUN||C||3||Gary Portelli|
|50||2x6x71x||SOOBOOG||C||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|51||21||SPIETH (NZ)||C||3||Bryce Heys|
|53||60007560×9||STERLING CITY||G||7||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|54||111x1x||SUPER ONE||C||3||Michael Freedman|
|55||13x178x310||TAWTEEN||M||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|57||37x112x80x||TIGER TEES (NZ)||G||8||Joseph Pride|
|58||5x591423x4||ULMANN||H||4||Peter G Moody|
|59||12x2123x52||UNDER THE LOUVRE||H||5||Robert Smerdon|
|60||11x13139x0||WAWAIL||M||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig|
|61||123x00x0x0||WE’RE GONNA ROCK||G||9||Tony Romeo|