The Team Hawkes-trained super sprinter Chautauqua is the headline Darley Classic 2015 nomination for Emirates Stakes Day this Saturday and is set to start odds-on favourite in betting for the Flemington feature.
Run down the famous Flemington straight, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) has attracted 23 early entries and is one of two elite level features for the final meeting of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Red hot favourite in early Darley Classic betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of ‘The Melbourne Cup Prize Draw’ giving away a 2015 Ford Ranger to one lucky Melbourne Cup punter, at $1.50 in pre-field odds is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Chautauqua.
A winner of all three of his starts this time in including the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23, the Encosta De Lago gelding is a dual winner at the top level and was runner-up to Terravista in last year’s Darley Classic.
Joe Pride’s reigning Darley Classic winner Terravista is also in the entries for the 2015 rematch, the now six-year-old son of Captain Rio looking to go back-to-back in the fashion of Black Caviar (2010-11).
He won the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) first-up this prep but could only manage to run seventh to Chautauqua in the Manikato last time out, a race that has produced the past three straight Darley Classic champions.
Pride has also nominated his ultra-consistent Ball Of Muscle and eight-year-old veteran Tiger Tees.
In-form Dubai five-year-old Ball Of Muscle is yet to finish worse than third in his 17 career starts to date and boasts an excellent 1200m record (6-3-2-1).
He was runner-up to Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at the highest level two back before his third on Caulfield Cup Day, October 17, to Lumosty in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m).
Tiger Tees meanwhile, last seen running sixth in the Manikato, is searching for his first win since August last year when taking out the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) in Sydney.
Along with the red hot favourite Chautauqua the other last start winners in the Darley Classic nominations are the aforementioned Robert Smerdon-trained mare Lumosty who won the Caulfield Sprint in her first run since a third to Srikandi in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) in the winter, Peter Moody’s black-type winner in Adelaide on October 17 Flamberge who won the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville in mid-May and Chris Waller’s top youngster Japonisme.
Choisir three-year-old Japonisme is out to become the first Darley Classic of that age group since Pharein (1999) won as a filly and comes off an upset in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day last weekend.
Odds-on favourite for the Coolmore Stud Stakes was John O’Shea’s Golden Rose winning Lonhro colt Exosphere who could only manage to finish four and a quarter-lengths away fourth.
He gets the chance to atone on Saturday if Godolphin pay the Darley Classic final acceptance fee, but he is an unlikely runner off the back of his Derby Day disappointment.
The best of the Darley Classic nominated mares meanwhile is the Ciaron Maher-trained dual Group 1 winner Srikandi who will be second-up after returning with a second in the Manikato Stakes.
Saturday will see the daughter of Dubawi line-up at Flemington for the first time, but she is over her pet distance that she has won five from seven over.
Also in the mix are Robert Heathcote’s $5.17 million earner Buffering looking to bounce back from his luckless Manikato fifth and improve on a Darley Classic fourth from 12 months ago, as well as Waller’s more likely final acceptor Boban whose last start was a fourth to Fawkner in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (2600m) back on September 12.
See below for the full Darley Classic 2015 nominations with field and barriers set for release on Wednesday.
Before then why not treat yourself to up to $700 in bonus bets at Ladbrokes.com.au by signing-up, depositing and quoting the limited time only code SPRINGBONUS!
2015 Darley Classic Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 07/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||130x424x19||ALPHA MISS||M||4||Robert Smerdon||100|
|2||1x221x3223||BALL OF MUSCLE||G||5||Joseph Pride||106|
|4||40x2497x38||BRING ME THE MAID||M||4||Peter G Moody||100|
|6||2x1213x111||CHAUTAUQUA||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||116|
|7||3041×21157||CHURCHILL DANCER||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||100|
|10||3x2301x261||FLAMBERGE||G||6||Peter G Moody||109|
|16||347x60x123||REBEL DANE||H||6||Gary Portelli||110|
|17||11127×2600||RICH ENUFF||H||4||Ken Keys||101|
|18||x355x11330||SEBRING SUN||C||3||Gary Portelli||82|
|21||x112x80x56||TIGER TEES (NZ)||G||8||Joseph Pride||108|
|22||2123×52326||UNDER THE LOUVRE||H||5||Robert Smerdon||105|
|23||x00x0x0098||WE’RE GONNA ROCK||G||9||Tony Romeo||86|