Robert Heathcote’s 2013 winner Buffering is one of the headline Darley Classic 2016 nominations taken for the Emirates Stakes Day classic held on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Running on Saturday November 5, this season’s $1 million Group 1 VRC Darley Classic (1200m) attracted 50 weight-for-age sprinters at nomination stage on Tuesday, down from 62 at the same time last year.
Heading the Darley Classic ballot is veteran nine-year-old Buffering who has contested the past four editions of the race.
Buffering’s VRC Sprint Classic results from the past four years include his 2013 win over Shamexpress and his fourth behind Delectation (2015) in the race last spring.
Since then the evergreen Mossman gelding has won three of his four subsequent starts including the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) in Dubai.
His last run was a dead last (14th) behind fellow Aussie raider Chautauqua in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) in Hong Kong on May 1, a run the warhorse will be out to atone for back in Oz in the coming weeks.
Chautauqua is also one of the top-rated Darley Classic nominees for 2016, the Team Hawkes-trained superstar looking to go one better than his second in the past two editions of the race.
Two back the champion Encosta De Lago gelding secured back-to-back wins in Sydney’s Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) before his international success at Sha Tin over his pet distance of 1200m (15-7-6-1).
Hawkes Racing have also nominated for Our Boy Malachi and Kaepernick, the same three stablemates also featuring in the nominations for the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 21.
Caulfield’s Mick Price also has a trio of Darley Classic nominees led by former Australian Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee.
The now seven-year-old son of Redoute’s Choice is a five-time Group 1 winner who ran third to Terravista in the 2014 Darley Classic.
He hasn’t raced since October last year but is progressing well towards his much-awaited return from injury and is likely to run second-up in the Darley Classic 2016.
Price also has his Blue Diamond Stakes quinella of Extreme Choice (1st) and Flying Artie (2nd) in Darley Classic contention, the duo also likely to be nominated for the previous Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight.
The last three-year-old Darley Classic winner was then filly Pharein (1999), the sole youngster to beat home the older rivals in the feature in the past 30 plus years.
A total of eight three-year-olds feature in the Darley Classic nominations this year.
Along with Price’s duo the other standouts include Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) winning Kiwi colt Saracino, the John O’Shea-trained Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes winner Astern and Peter & Paul Snowden’s Golden Slipper champion Capitalist.
Capitalist hasn’t raced since his shock loss for fourth behind Star Turn on August 13 in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) under the big weight (60kg).
Team Snowden also have fellow three-year-olds Defcon and the undefeated Vain Stakes winner Russian Revolution in the Darley Classic mix, along with six-year-old BTC Cup runner-up Dothraki.
Other standout entries include Godolphin sprint star Holler returning from an overseas campaign, Robbie Griffiths’ Newmarket Handicap champ The Quarterback, the Darren Weir-trained 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Stratum Star and his fellow Group 1 winning stablemate Flamberge.
The 2016 Darley Classic first acceptances close at midday (local time) on Tuesday, October 18.
Check out the official Darley Classic 2016 nominations below then head to Ladbrokes.com.au where first-time depositing players (excluding NSW) are eligible for up to $500 in bonuses with use of the code BETBONUS (T&Cs apply).
2016 VRC Sprint Classic Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 05/11/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|2||1112x1311x||CHAUTAUQUA||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||2||58.5kg|
|3||213x169x3x||LANKAN RUPEE||G||7||Mick Price||3||58.5kg|
|4||1x1121x4x||CAPITALIST||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||4||53.5kg|
|5||46136x129x||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||7||Darren Weir||5||58.5kg|
|6||264x321x24||UNDER THE LOUVRE||H||6||Robert Smerdon||6||58.5kg|
|7||126x1631x5||ENGLISH||M||4||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||7||56.5kg|
|9||2111x4160x||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||H||5||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||9||58.5kg|
|10||1118x||EXTREME CHOICE||C||3||Mick Price||10||53.5kg|
|11||048346230x||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||G||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||11||58.5kg|
|12||21x361539x||THE QUARTERBACK||G||6||Robbie Griffiths||12||58.5kg|
|15||11x242156x||FELL SWOOP||G||5||Matthew Dale||15||58.5kg|
|17||0x7236033x||STRATUM STAR||H||5||Darren Weir||17||58.5kg|
|18||13x73525x4||DOTHRAKI||G||6||Peter & Paul Snowden||18||58.5kg|
|19||x12217x222||LE ROMAIN||G||4||Kris Lees||19||58.5kg|
|21||1x130x154x||OUR BOY MALACHI||G||8||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||21||58.5kg|
|23||2x123x||FLYING ARTIE||C||3||Mick Price||23||53.5kg|
|25||x3223x68x2||BALL OF MUSCLE||G||6||Joseph Pride||25||58.5kg|
|26||112x083x21||KEEN ARRAY||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||26||58.5kg|
|28||0x411L0x55||MISS PROMISCUITY||M||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||28||56.5kg|
|30||2346x115x1||FAATINAH||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||30||58.5kg|
|31||2210×18||DEFCON||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||31||53.5kg|
|32||112333236x||EGYPTIAN SYMBOL||M||4||Bjorn Baker||32||56.5kg|
|36||253×11||SARACINO (NZ)||C||3||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||36||53.5kg|
|37||156x1211x||OCEAN EMBERS||M||4||Shea Eden||37||56.5kg|
|38||38x5315x6x||TAKE PRIDE||M||4||Murray Johnson||38||56.5kg|
|39||111x||RUSSIAN REVOLUTION||C||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||39||53.5kg|
|40||12150x||ALMIGHTY GIRL||M||4||Mitchell Beer & Max Hinton||40||56.5kg|
|41||1x34127x4x||SHEIDEL||M||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||41||56.5kg|
|42||3x1212311x||VOODOO LAD||G||5||Darren Weir||42||58.5kg|
|43||x0130x10x3||KAEPERNICK||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||43||58.5kg|
|44||1114142102||SHAF||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||44||58.5kg|
|45||45x111x13||SOUTHERN LEGEND||G||4||Les Bridge||45||58.5kg|
|46||12x111138x||RULE THE RIVER||M||5||Anthony Cummings||46||56.5kg|
|47||2152911×63||WE’VE GOT THIS||G||5||Greg Eurell||47||58.5kg|
|48||217x0111x||SPIETH (NZ)||H||4||Bryce Heys||48||58.5kg|
|50||111x||A DAY TO REMEMBER||M||5||Jason Coyle||50||56.5kg|