The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
A quality line-up of female gallopers faces off in the 2022 Empire Rose Stakes field at Flemington on Saturday as one of three Group 1 features on the VRC Derby Day card.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival gets underway this weekend at headquarters and the last of the meeting’s elite level races is the Group 1 $1 million Empire Rose Stakes (1600m).
The weight-for-age mile showdown has attracted a capacity field that will include the first two emergencies My Whisper ($26) and Atishu ($41) after Chris Waller opted to scratch his Group 1 winning mares Hinged and Fangirl in favour of a run in Sydney’s $10 million The Golden Eagle.
There was also an early controversy with the Empire Rose Stakes barrier draw redone electronically after it was found the manual draw took place missing gate 14.
Updated Empire Rose Stakes odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au remain led by the firming favourite La Crique ($2.90 into $2.60).
The Simon & Katrina Alexander-trained New Zealand raider has won six of her 10 career starts to date and the Vadamos four-year-old travels down under on the back of a Group 1 Arrifield Stud victory over the mile back home from early October.
Runner-up in the NZ Derby over 2400m back in March, she’s a versatile mare bringing in plenty of good form and could take the power of beating on Saturday with James McDonald booked for the ride.
Occupying the second line of Empire Rose Stakes betting at $8 is then the sole filly taking on the older mares in this year’s event, She’s Licketysplit.
Another New Zealander, the Andrew Forsman-trained Turn Me Loose three-year-old comes off an excellent string of runs in Melbourne this campaign.
Two back she won the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at this track and distance before her last start third on a Heavy (10) at Caulfield in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
She drops back notably in weight with just 49kg on Saturday and is out to I Am A Star (2016) and Shoals (2017) as the latest fillies to beat the mares in the Empire Rose Stakes results.
There may be a full field but just one other mare is currently under double-figures for the win with the Matthew Smith-trained Nimlaee ($8.50) drawn barrier two for jockey Damien Oliver.
The So You Think six-year-old brings in some strong form having won the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) earlier this prep, and she is on the quick back-up after her third when under a length beaten in the $2 million The Invitation (1400m) at Randwick last weekend.
Other notable Empire Rose Stakes hopefuls at longer odds include Icebath ($12) looking to atone for her disappointing ninth in her failed The Invitation title defence and the Chris Munce-trained Queenslander Palaisipan ($13) coming off seconds to Nimalee in the Golden Pendant and Chain Of Lightning in the Tristarc Stakes.
The Empire Rose Stakes 2022 is set to run as the penultimate event on Flemington’s nine-race card on Saturday, after which Racing Victoria will conduct the official Melbourne Cup 2022 barrier draw.
2022 Empire Rose Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||9333×72249||ICEBATH (NZ)||Brad Widdup||Craig Williams||5||57kg||107|
|2||x251x03153||NIMALEE||Matthew Smith||Damien Oliver||2||57kg||110|
|3||x2104x3160||KISSONALLFORCHEEKS||Nick Ryan||William Buick||12||57kg||106|
|4||5320515×17||KIKU||Chris Waller||Jye McNeil||7||57kg||107|
|5||135333×516||EXCELIDA||Ben & JD Hayes||Michael Dee||6||57kg||100|
|6||6x56268x97||MIRRA VISION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||18||57kg||98|
|7||2x5513x322||PALAISIPAN||Chris Munce||Damian Lane||11||57kg||104|
|8||x177x68x06||CHAILLOT||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Daniel Moor||14||57kg||98|
|9||3x1417x724||BELLE PLAISIR (NZ)||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Barend Vorster||4||57kg||97|
|10||x71324x533||HINGED||Chris Waller||Brett Prebble||16||56.5kg||108|
|11||x15410x256||FANGIRL||Chris Waller||John Allen||1||56.5kg||107|
|12||214x356x37||YEARNING||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Damien Thornton||15||56.5kg||102|
|13||5x4136x517||DAISIES||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Mark Zahra||3||56.5kg||102|
|14||1131112×31||LA CRIQUE (NZ)||Simon & Katrina Alexander||James McDonald||10||56.5kg||108|
|15||x23124x929||ELUSIVE EXPRESS (NZ)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Ben Melham||9||56.5kg||98|
|16||117×1313||SHE’S LICKETYSPLIT (NZ)||Andrew Forsman||Dean Holland||8||49kg||96|
|17e||x11113x901||MY WHISPER||Peter & Paul Snowden||17||56.5kg||94|
|18e||6P3334x767||ATISHU (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brett Prebble (late alt)||13||57kg||98|
|19e||x5250x7153||PRIDE OF JENNI||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Zac Spain||19||57kg||90|
|20e||Px47710x65||CLIFF’S ART (IRE)||Matthew Smith||Craig Newitt||20||57kg||92|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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