The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
A trio of mares are battling for favouritism in the opening elite level of Victoria Derby Day on Saturday with Tofane narrowly leading markets on the Group 1 $1 million Empire Rose Stakes (1600m).
Due to run as Flemington Race 5 at 3:00pm (AEDT), this year’s 2021 Empire Rose Stakes field features 15 female gallopers.
The Michael Moroney-trained Tofane drawn in gate two with Craig Williams to ride currently sits top of the Empire Rose Stakes odds at $3.50 and firming through Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Ocean Park six-year-old was brilliant in the winter winning Brisbane’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap – Tatt’s Tiara double and has been very strong at the highest level in Melbourne this prep.
She has had three Group 1 runs finishing in the top four each time including crossing only a length back fourth to subsequent Caulfield Cup hero Incentivise in the Makybe Diva Stakes at this track and distance.
Her latest run was a brave second to I’m Thunderstruck when three-quarters a length beaten in Caulfield’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and she is tipped to improve and return to winning form against her own kind on the weekend.
Occupying the second line of Empire Rose Stakes betting at $5.50 is the Adam Trinder-trained Mystic Journey, the inaugural All Star Mile winner coming into the race third-up and fit back to her best form.
She jumps from gate three with Luke Nolen in the saddle, the Needs Further six-year-old last seen crossing under a length back third to Still A Star here in the Group 2 Rose Of Kingston Stakes (1410m).
Mystic Journey chases her first win since the Group 2 Stocks Stakes last spring and is looking to atone for her seventh to Shout The Bar in this race when only 1.4 lengths off in a blanket finish last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The other best-backed runner following closely at $7 is the Godolphin-raced Colette who will relish any rain around being a proven mudlark.
Damien Oliver rides the Hallowed Crown five-year-old from gate eight and Colette was last seen winning Caulfield’s Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m).
The last of the single-figure hopefuls at $9.50 is the Tom Dabernig-trained Flying Mascot who has won two of her last three starts.
A lightly-raced Tavistock four-year-old, she has just her 10th career start on Saturday and was ultra-impressive last weekend at The Valley winning the Group 3 Tesio Stakes (1600m) over the mile by 4.25 lengths.
Other Empire Rose Stakes hopefuls representing potential value include Bill Ryan’s Rose Of Kingston Stakes winner Still A Star ($11) and even the widely-drawn Sirileo Miss ($26) chasing a fourth win on the trot.
2021 Empire Rose Stakes Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x12454x651||COLETTE||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||8||57kg||110|
|2||017x225x23||MYSTIC JOURNEY||Adam Trinder||Luke Nolen||3||57kg||109|
|3||7x7211x342||TOFANE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Craig Williams||2||57kg||115|
|4||x060411710||SIERRA SUE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Daniel Moor||1||57kg||110|
|5||11x1021x31||STILL A STAR||Bill Ryan||Luke Currie||5||57kg||106|
|6||5x1194x424||NIMALEE||Matthew Smith||Ms Rachel King||9||57kg||107|
|7||84×1414121||MIRRA VISION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Michael Dee||10||57kg||97|
|8||x78111x848||HUNGRY HEART||Chris Waller||John Allen||12||56.5kg||106|
|9||1121114×86||AMARELINHA (NZ)||Jamie Richards||James McDonald||4||56.5kg||104|
|10||2x1235x111||SIRILEO MISS||Symon Wilde||Ms Linda Meech||15||56.5kg||95|
|11||2x1327x603||HARMONY ROSE||Mark Newnham||Glen Boss||13||56.5kg||95|
|12||13x1116x63||KIKU||Chris Waller||Brett Prebble||11||56.5kg||90|
|13||1x1280x121||FLYING MASCOT (NZ)||Tom Dabernig||Blaike McDougall||7||56.5kg||96|
|14||112x26x525||PRIDE OF JENNI||Symon Wilde||Declan Bates||6||56.5kg||80|
|15||1149×62||STEINEM (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jye McNeil||14||56.5kg||74|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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