John O’Shea’s Golden Slipper winning three-year-old Exosphere is the short-priced favourite and one of the 23 first acceptors for the Darley Classic 2015 at Flemington Racecourse this November.
Run on Emirates Stakes Day, Saturday November 7, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) takes place on the final Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting and originally attracted 62 nominations.
That figure is down to just 23 hopeful sprinters with Racing Victoria taking Darley Classic first declarations on Tuesday.
Red hot favourite in the latest all-in Darley Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Group 1 spring features this season, is Godolphin-raced Lonhro colt Exosphere.
A winner of five of his seven starts to date including three from four over 1200m, Exosphere is yet to race in Melbourne and is best known for his Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) victory after which he won the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) last time out on October 3.
O’Shea is yet to train a Darley Classic winner but Exosphere is at $2.20 for the win in futures betting to become the first three-year-old to take it out since young filly Pharein (1999) beat home the boys.
O’Shea boasts a total of four Darley Classic first acceptances this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with Exosphere joined by stablemates Mogador ($17), Knoydart ($41) and Generalife ($41).
Mogador has finished out of the money just once in five starts, the fellow Lonhro colt last seen crossing second to Keen Array in the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Hot on Exosphere’s heels in Darley Classic betting is the Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua ($3.40) who is also the short-priced favourite to win the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) under the lights at Moonee Valley this Friday night on the back of two Group 2 wins this time in.
Also at single figures for the Darley Classic win in the early markets are fellow Manikato Stakes fancies Srikandi and Terravista at $8.
Ciaron Maher trains Dubawi mare Srikandi who hasn’t raced since completing the Stradbroke Handicap – Tattersall’s Tiara Group 1 Queensland double in the winter.
If she makes it to the Darley Classic filed she will be out to become the fifth mare since 2005 to win and the first since Black Caviar (2010 – 2011).
Joe Pride’s star Sydney sprinter Terravista won last year’s Darley Classic and will be back to defend his title in 2015 and become the first back-to-back winner since the aforementioned turf queen Black Caviar.
Also running in the Manikato Stakes leading up to the Darley Classic is the Robert Heathcote-trained Buffering who completed the same double two years ago and is out to become the first eight-year-old winner of both races in over 30 years this campaign.
Other notable Darley Classic chances still heading towards the showdown including the Robert Smerdon-trained trio of Manikato hopeful Alpha Miss coming off a smart Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) win, Lumosty who won the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) on Caulfield Cup Day and multiple Group 1 placegetter Under The Louvre whose last start was a second to Vashka in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m).
Sydney’s best trainer Chris Waller also has three Darley Classic chances at this stage of declarations with recent Memsie Stakes winning six-year-old Boban, last start Gilgai Stakes runner-up at Flemington Delectation and Choisir three-year-old Japonsime whose last start was a third to Exosphere in the Roman Consul Stakes.
The 2015 Darley Classic final field is released on Wednesday November 4 so before then make sure you lock in the juicy early odds on offer at the country’s premier bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au!
2015 Darley Classic First Declarations
Flemington Racecourse – 07/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|3||12x1213x11||CHAUTAUQUA||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||3||58.5kg|
|6||3347x60x12||REBEL DANE||H||6||Gary Portelli||6||58.5kg|
|7||7x112x80x5||TIGER TEES (NZ)||G||8||Joseph Pride||7||58.5kg|
|8||3x2301x261||FLAMBERGE||G||6||Peter G Moody||8||58.5kg|
|11||740x2497x3||BRING ME THE MAID||M||4||Peter G Moody||11||56.5kg|
|14||1x221x3223||BALL OF MUSCLE||G||5||Joseph Pride||14||58.5kg|
|15||x11127x260||RICH ENUFF||H||4||Ken Keys||15||58.5kg|
|16||x3041x2115||CHURCHILL DANCER||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||16||58.5kg|
|17||4130x424x1||ALPHA MISS||M||4||Robert Smerdon||17||56.5kg|
|19||2x355x1133||SEBRING SUN||C||3||Gary Portelli||19||53.5kg|
|20||x2123x5232||UNDER THE LOUVRE||H||5||Robert Smerdon||20||58.5kg|
|23||x00x0x0098||WE’RE GONNA ROCK||G||9||Tony Romeo||23||58.5kg|