2016 Darley Classic First Acceptances Feature Extreme Choice

Mick Price’s Moir Stakes winning three-year-old Extreme Choice is one of 25 sprinters making up the Darley Classic 2016 first acceptances for the Flemington feature on Emirates Stakes Day this Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Extreme Choice

Moir Stakes winner Extreme Choice is one of five three-year-olds among the 2016 Darley Classic first acceptances for the Flemington feature on November 5. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Due to run down the famous Flemington straight on Saturday November 5 on the fourth and final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) is down to just 25 entries follow first declarations.

Halved from the 50 Darley Classic nominations taken by Racing Victoria back in late September, there is still plenty of class among the runners heading towards a start in the capacity 20-starter field.

In over 30 years just one three-year-old has won the Darley Classic with Graeme Rogerson’s filly Pharein getting the job done back in 1999.

This year there is sure to be money on Price’s dual Group 1 winning Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice to break the drought.

He currently occupies the second line of all-in Darley Classic betting at Ladbrokes.com.au post first acceptances following his first-up victory at Moonee Valley in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m).

That added to his now four-from-five record, which also includes the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) win at Caulfield as a two-year-old.

Price has a total of three Darley Classic first acceptors with Extreme Choice joined by Lankan Rupee and Flying Artie.

$4 million earner Lankan Rupee made a return from a year-long injury-enforced spell in the Caulfield Sprint last Saturday, catching the eye with his third place finish.

Blue Diamond runner-up and Golden Slipper third placegetter Flying Artie meanwhile made a successful three-year-old debut on October 12 in the Group 3 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m).

Beaten favourite in the Moir Stakes was the Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua (4th), a $6.5 million earner with five Group 1 wins on the record including the Chairman’s Sprint in Hong Kong.

Chautauqua has run in the past two editions of the Darley Classic finishing second to Terravista in 2014 and second again 12 months ago behind Delectation.

He runs under the lights at Moonee Valley second-up in Friday night’s $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) where he’ll jump the short-priced favourite.

Chautauqua is also leading the pre-field Darley Classic odds at $3, a price set to firm if he’s successful in his Cox Plate eve assignment this weekend.

Hall of Famer and Chautauqua’s co-trainer John Hawkes prepared the VRC Stakes (now Darley Classic) winner Flavour back in 1998 and along with the early favourite has one other first acceptor this season that he trains with sons Michael and Wayne – Our Boy Malachi.

A veteran eight-year-old son of Top Echelon, Our Boy Malachi showed he still had plenty of zest for racing on Caulfield Cup Day just last weekend winning the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) in a powerhouse effort.

He is still at an outsider’s price to win the Darley Classic at $13 based on the sheer class the field is set to feature, and no eight-year-old has won the Flemington feature in over 30 years.

The other single-figure hope in the latest markets behind Chautauqua and Extreme Choice at $9 is the John O’Shea-trained Astern.

Also a three-year-old out to make history with a win, the Godolphin-raced Medaglia D’Oro colt has won five of his seven career starts to date.

Astern took out the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) two back before a second when dropped back in distance behind Russian Revolution in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m).

He is as yet untested in Melbourne, but is being kept safe in Darley Classic betting.

The 2013 Darley Classic winner Buffering ($13), Gai Waterhouse’s Group 1 winning mare English ($13), Peter & Paul Snowden’s Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler are among the other hopes still in contention.

The 2016 Darley Classic final field and barrier draw is set for release on Tuesday November 2.

In the meantime check out the early Darley Classic all-in markets open now at Ladbrokes.com.au.

2016 Darley Classic First Declarations

Flemington Racecourse – 05/11/2016

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight
1 15411x10x5 BUFFERING G 9 Robert Heathcote 1 58.5kg
2 112x1311x4 CHAUTAUQUA G 6 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 2 58.5kg
3 13x169x3x3 LANKAN RUPEE G 7 Mick Price 3 58.5kg
4 1x1121x43 CAPITALIST C 3 Peter & Paul Snowden 4 53.5kg
5 6136x129x7 LUCKY HUSSLER G 7 Darren Weir 5 58.5kg
6 26x1631x54 ENGLISH M 4 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 6 56.5kg
7 1118×1 EXTREME CHOICE C 3 Mick Price 7 53.5kg
8 111x4160x8 TURN ME LOOSE (NZ) H 5 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman 8 58.5kg
9 1x361539x1 THE QUARTERBACK G 6 Robbie Griffiths 9 58.5kg
10 1x35313x60 JAPONISME G 4 Chris Waller 10 58.5kg
11 1x101x112 ASTERN C 3 John O’Shea 11 53.5kg
12 1x242156x3 FELL SWOOP G 5 Matthew Dale 12 58.5kg
13 3x73525x45 DOTHRAKI G 6 Peter & Paul Snowden 13 58.5kg
14 130x154x21 OUR BOY MALACHI G 8 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 14 58.5kg
15 2x123x1 FLYING ARTIE C 3 Mick Price 15 53.5kg
16 11x11619x2 MALAGUERRA G 5 Peter Gelagotis 16 58.5kg
17 x34127x421 SHEIDEL M 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 17 56.5kg
18 21x1512x7x HOLLER H 4 John O’Shea 18 58.5kg
19 3223x68x26 BALL OF MUSCLE G 6 Joseph Pride 19 58.5kg
20 12x083x211 KEEN ARRAY G 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 20 58.5kg
21 46x115x162 FAATINAH G 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 21 58.5kg
22 1111 RUSSIAN REVOLUTION C 3 Peter & Paul Snowden 22 53.5kg
23 217x0111x1 SPIETH (NZ) H 4 Bryce Heys 23 58.5kg
24 45x111x135 SOUTHERN LEGEND G 4 Les Bridge 24 58.5kg
25 152911×632 WE’VE GOT THIS G 5 Greg Eurell 25 58.5kg


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