Kris Lees’ dual Group 1 winning mare Lucia Valentina headlines a smart field of fillies and mares engaged for the Coolmore Classic 2016 at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney on Saturday.
The latest Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival feature, this year’s $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) features 13 final acceptors and is set to run as Rosehill Race 7 at 4:10pm (AEDT).
Wearing the number one saddlecloth and drawn midfield in barrier seven, which last produced a Coolmore Classic winner just two years ago in Steps In Time (2014), is Savabeel five-year-old Lucia Valentina.
Sydney’s best hoop James McDonald has the mount first-up on the top-weight whose last run was a fifth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in her international debut back in December.
Her latest win was in Melbourne’s Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m), but her last start in Sydney was an eighth to subsequent Cox Plate champ Winx in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
Lucia Valentina blitzed a trial over 1000m at the start of the month and has a solid first-up record of two wins and a third from five resuming runs.
She has the 58kg to overcome on Saturday however and is looking to become the first mare to carry more than 57kg to victory in the race since Sunline carted 60kg for her 2002 success.
Hot favourite in Coolmore Classic betting through Ladbrokes.com.au is the Gerald Ryan-trained Solicit jumping one on Lucia Valentina’s inside from gate six.
Kerrin McEvoy continues his association with the Street Cry mare who has had three gun runs this time in, the latest producing a win in the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 27.
She has a strong record at Rosehill also of a win and two seconds from three runs, her last start at the track being first-up when runner-up to Our Boy Malachi in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) in late January.
Solicit had 56kg on her back for her Group 2 win last start and has the same kilos for her Coolmore Classic bid.
Single-digit barriers have produced the past five Coolmore Classic winners and some of the big winners from this year’s draw include the Anthony Cummings-trained Vergara (5) coming off a fifth in the Guy Walter Stakes, Ciaron Maher’s last start Group 3 Mannerism Stakes winner over 1400m at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day Azkadellia (4) and the Chris Waller-trained Telepathic (3).
Mossman five-year-old Telepathic comes off a second to Group 1 winner First Seal in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill from February 20 and is one of two in the mix for Waller who shoots for his maiden win in the handicap clash.
Telepathic is well-weighted with just 52kg, a two kilo drop from her Millie Fox weight, with jockey Jason Collett retaining the ride.
Waller’s other runner Amicus meanwhile has 55.5kg and suffered an early blow drawing wide with barrier 12 as the recent Group 2 Breeders Classic winner at Randwick looks to atone for her second last when ninth in the Guy Walter Stakes.
Also out wide is the Robert Smerdon-trained Politeness (13) with the outside alley to overcome as she looks for her first turf triumph since her elite level win in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington in the spring.
The other headline final acceptor is lightly-raced filly Ghisoni for John O’Shea.
A three-year-old daughter of Lonhro, Ghisoni has won all three of her career starts to date including her first Group test when putting over a length on Single Gaze to win the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at fortnight back.
The Godolphin stable has also accepted for fellow 50kg lightweight, Group 2 winner Pearls who jumps from barrier two, the Exceed And Excel filly coming off a fourth when just over two lengths away from her stablemate in the Surround Stakes.
See below for the full Coolmore Classic 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights then visit Ladbrokes.com.au to open a new account, deposit and quote the code BETBONUS to enjoy up to $500 in bonuses!
2016 Coolmore Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 7 (4:10pm) – 12/03/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||76x648915x||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||James McDonald||7||58kg||110|
|2||00x1112x27||POLITENESS||Robert Smerdon||Tommy Berry||13||57kg||108|
|3||20x281x221||SOLICIT||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||6||56kg||106|
|4||0x11005x19||AMICUS||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||12||55.5kg||105|
|5||167×702117||TINTO||Rex Lipp||Damian Browne||9||55kg||104|
|6||25x1918x23||PEEPING||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton||10||53.5kg||101|
|7||0x12123x21||AZKADELLIA (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Brett Prebble||4||53kg||100|
|8||4×32116642||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||3||52kg||98|
|9||0549x149x2||ZANBAGH||John P Thompson||Ms Kathy O’Hara||1||51kg||96|
|10||71x4740x66||SLIGHTLY SWEET||Jason Coyle||TBA||11||51kg||93|
|11||2x15460x44||VERGARA||Anthony Cummings||Daniel Moor||5||51kg||93|
|12||11×1||GHISONI||John O’Shea||Corey Brown||8||50kg||92|
|13||1214×64||PEARLS||John O’Shea||Ms Winona Costin (a)||2||50kg||89|