The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Trainer Chris Waller has three chances to secure his third win in the Empire Rose Stakes 2023 at Flemington on Saturday including early favourite in the Flemington feature Atishu.
Waller has prepared two previous winners of the now Group 1 $1 million Empire Rose Stakes (1600m), one of three elite level features on the VRC Derby Day card in Melbourne, taking it out with Red Tracer in 2013 and Shillelagh in 2018.
This weekend the top pick for the stable heading Empire Rose Stakes betting at $5 through Ladbrokes.com.au is Savabeel six-year-old Atishu in barrier eight with James McDonald to ride.
The mare chases her first win since the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in Sydney back in early April that she won by over two lengths.
Things went amiss for her in the winter when she failed to finish the Doomben Cup, but she has come back well this spring.
She finished second to the stable’s subsequent $2 million The Invitation winner Espiona in the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) in September and is out to improve on a tough run when second last in the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes (1600m).
This is an easier assignment and she is proven at the track.
Waller’s other runners are Princess Grace ($7) coming off a frustrating run of minor placings against crack fields and former Group 1 winner Hinged ($26) to be ridden by Blake Shinn from barrier 13.
Princess Grace is out to shrug her place-getter status this prep having finished second in three of her four runs including close finishes in the Group 1 Winx Stakes and Group 1 Memsie Stakes.
Two back at this track and distance she was fourth to gun miler Mr Brightside, second in last Saturday’s Cox Plate, in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
She was last seen racing here on October 7 when rolled as the beaten odds-on favourite in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1400m) and is looking to win back the love of the punters now.
The early Empire Rose Stakes market mover occupying the second line of betting at $5.50 is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Alcohol Free in gate five with Opie Bosson in the saddle.
The stable won this race a few years ago with Shout The Bar (2020) and there is money for the Irish-bred No Nay Never six-year-old Alcohol Free to break her maiden status down under.
The import was good in the Premiere Stakes when fourth before failing to beat home any of her rivals in the $20 million The Everest on October 14.
She showed good improvement against her own kind last Saturday at Randwick when narrowly beaten running fourth in The Invitation and is on the quick back-up now down south.
The airborne Wishlor Lass for Symon Wilde then rounds out the single-figure fancies at Empire Rose Stakes odds of $7.50 to win her fourth on the trot.
John Allen comes aboard the flying five-year-old for her acid test here with the mare having won two Group 3 races of late including carting 59kg to a good Tesio Stakes win over the mile at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
2023 Empire Rose Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||4913x0x404||ALCOHOL FREE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Opie Bosson||5||57kg||113|
|2||23x31x2242||PRINCESS GRACE (USA)||Chris Waller||Jamie Spencer||12||57kg||111|
|3||2x1442x368||HOPE IN YOUR HEART||Kerry Parker||Tim Clark||1||57kg||108|
|4||3x216Px520||ATISHU (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||8||57kg||110|
|5||x26844x407||HINGED||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||13||57kg||106|
|6||5x12116x03||FOXY FRIDA||Andrew Noblet||Billy Egan||6||57kg||103|
|7||9x6124x512||RENAISSANCE WOMAN (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Harry Coffey||14||57kg||103|
|8||3102341742||BARBIE’S FOX||Ben, Will & JD Hayes||Mark Zahra||16||57kg||101|
|9||33112×3031||WROTE TO ARATAKI (NZ)||Matthew Williams||Dean Yendall||10||57kg||102|
|10||7x4298x626||PRIDE OF JENNI||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Declan Bates||17||57kg||101|
|11||15931×1736||DENY KNOWLEDGE (IRE)||Michael Kent||Ms Jamie Kah||7||57kg||97|
|12||112x74x421||LIFE LESSONS (NZ)||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Daniel Stackhouse||15||57kg||99|
|13||121146×852||SHUFFLE DANCER||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Luke Nolen||2||57kg||92|
|14||1115×4111||WISHLOR LASS||Symon Wilde||John Allen||11||57kg||103|
|15||12x614x125||AUSBRED FLIRT||Brad Widdup||Ms Rachel King||9||57kg||92|
|16||413x353x53||MORE SECRETS||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Damien Oliver||4||57kg||97|
|17e||15x27213x1||JENNILALA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jamie Spencer||3||57kg||86|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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