The Coolmore Stud Stakes is a sire making race with the last four males to have won the straight course sprint, Zoustar (2013), Sepoy (2011), Star Witness (2010) and Northern Meteor (2008) – all of whom started favourite in their respective races, each commanding plenty of attention at Stud, so there’s so much more at stake here than the lion’s share of the $500,000 prize-money. The likes of Rubick ($7.00), Rich Enuff ($3.20), Brazen Beau ($6), and Kuro ($5.50), the top four in early markets, hoping to add their name to the selective group but it’s not a race purely for the boys. Nechita (2012) and Headway (2009) have been recent female winners of the race and this year’s editions could include the likes of Eloping ($26), Bring Me The Maid ($21) and Earthquake ($7.50) – each filly at their best, capable of keeping the boys on their toes. Punters were quick to launch into Rich Enuff opening prince of $4.00 especially after he seemingly drew perfectly in gate 10.
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1. RICH ENUFF – M Rodd (10)
Went within a long neck of making it four wins from as many starts this campaign, when collared on the line by Shooting To Win in the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) three weeks ago. The Ken Keys galloper led from a wide gate and it took a big effort from a promising galloper to run him down. His two previous starts resulted in strong wins, one of which included the G2 Danehill Stakes over Saturday’s course where he defeated Looks Like The Cat by a head with 3 ¼ lengths to the rest of the field. He makes his own luck which is an advantage up the straight course, is fit, and will take plenty of catching.
2. BRAZEN BEAU – J Moreira (15)
After a successful winter campaign that saw him run second to Almalad in the G1 JJ Atkins (1600m), the Chris Waller trained galloper started the $5 favourite for the G2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) when returning from a spell but drawing an inside gate for the straight course race, wasn’t ideal. He ran a credible fifth (3.9 lengths) behind Rich Enuff, who came up the centre of the track, before heading to Sydney and claiming the G2 Roman Consul Stakes from Nostradamus and Delectation – his third win from seven starts. Settled just off the speed and extended well when asked for his effort over the Randwick rise. Draw here mightn’t be as bad as it first appears with a couple of natural leaders in Eloping and Rich Enuff drawn just inside of him.
3. SCISSOR KICK – C Williams (8)
Went within a head of making it four wins in a row with a sensational effort in the G1 Golden Rose (1400m) two starts back. The Paul Messara trained galloper was caught wide throughout and had to make a long run home, only to be collared right on the line by the then unbeaten Hallowed Crown. He was expected to make emends in the G2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) but despite a much smaller field, was again posted deep from the 1000m and proved no match for subsequent G1 Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win over the final stages, running second to that horse by three lengths. Suffered some laceration last start and has been given a month to freshen up for this race. Will be his first start outside of Sydney and look at a straight course but is a class galloper who will finish well.
4. TIME FOR WAR – B Avdulla (9)
Has a G2 win over Brazen Beau when the pair met in the BRC Sire’s Produce Stakes earlier this year, and has had two runs back from a spell, the most recent a strong effort under the steadier of 59.5kgs in the Listed Brian Cowley Stakes, running second to Kuro, who he meets here 1.5kgs better. Likes to get to the front and give them plenty to chase however, there’ll be the likes of Eloping, Rich Enuff and Rubick to keep him honest here and that may leave him a little vulnerable over the final stages.
5. RUBICK – K McEvoy (1)
Boom young galloper who after running fourth in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes to Earthquake back in February, was sent for a spell. The son of Encosta de Lago returned in the Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield three weeks ago and was able to hold his position from the inside gate to lead, before defying all challengers in the straight to record a length win over Platelet and Iconic fourth – both running well again in the G1 Manikato Stakes. The Gerald Ryan galloper was strong through the line in the Schillaci which is a good sign for the straight 1200m, which he’ll be tackling for the first time. Hasn’t put a foot wrong yet in his career and wouldn’t think he’d do so here either.
6. GHIBELLINES – S Arnold (6)
The Todman Stakes winner from last season returned as a 3yo with a strong finishing effort in the G2 Danehill Stakes (1200m), running third (3.5 lengths) to Rich Enuff and Looks Like The Cat, from well back in the field. His following start was in the G3 Guineas Prelude (1400m) where the son of Shamardal again settled back after drawing wide but wasn’t able to produce the anything like his first up finish, hung badly and ran last of the thirteen runners, more than ten lengths from Rich Enuff. A return to Flemington and a solidly run 1200m should see sharp improvement but it’s probably still not enough to counter a field of this class.
7. NOSTRADAMUS – D Dunn (3)
Failed to handle the wet track in G3 Run To The Roses (1400m) where he started the 2/1 favourite after a smart first up win in the G3 San Domenico Stakes (1200m). Secured a nice run from a good draw in the G1 Golden Rose and stuck on well for fifth (2.1 lengths) given those that finished in front of him all swept home from the tail. Had his chance but was no match late for Brazen Beau in his following and most recent start, finishing 1.8 lengths in arrears of that horse in the G2 Roman Consul Stakes. Just finding at least one or two stronger in the better class of races and whilst he’ll run well, will likely find that to be the case again here.
8. KURO – B Shinn (16)
Trainer Joe Pride has this handsome son of Denman flying at the moment and well prepared for his first tilt at a Group 1 race. He has won each of his past four starts including the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) and a fortnight ago at his most recent outing, the Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) where he comfortably accounted for Time For War by two lengths. Takes up a forward position and when asked too, shows a good turn of foot. Although he has drawn the widest gate, with the likes of Eloping and Rich Enuff drawn just inside of him in 12 and 10 respectively, he may still be able to secure a good run behind a decent speed.
9. DELECTATION – D Oliver
Put away by trainer Chris Waller after winning three on the trot during the winter and returned for an attempt at better racing, starting with the Listed Heritage Stakes. He ran fourth (4.4 lengths) behind Kuro in that race, finished well be Brazen Beau to claim third (2.3 lengths in the Roman Consul Stakes with his next and most recent run resulting in a fourth (3.7 lengths) to Kuro again, this time in the Listed Brian Crowley. He has been getting back in each of the above runs but hasn’t been able to match with the winners over the final stages and he’ll find this race no easier.
10. GALAXY PEGASUS – N Hall (5)
An impressive BM 64 win at Kilmore two starts back suggested the colt by War Pass was set for better things he immediately delivered on that promise by winning last week’s G3 Telstra Stakes at Moonee Valley. He was given a gem of a ride by Damien Oliver who, most importantly given the beaten margin, was able to keep Law in the pocket at the top of the straight before defeat him narrowly on the line. Much tougher race here and combined with the quick back-up, sees other runners in the race with much more appeal.
11. INKLING – M Zahra (4)
The Snowden Racing representative returned after a brief let-up to contest the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m). Settling in a nice spot midfield during the run, the Duporth colt positioned himself alongside of Kuro as the field turned for home. First up off a two and a half month break however, he didn’t have the acceleration of a race-fit Kuro who was too good for him late. Inkling held on for third (2.8 lengths) and will be better again for the run, but still has significant ground to make up on the winner from last start, who he meets 2kgs worse at the weights.
12. HUSSON EAGLE – B Rawiller (11)
After running three second in his first five races, including a lip second to Bring Me The Maid in a Listed race up the Flemington straight at his second start, the Patrick Payne trained galloper was taken to Bendigo for his first up run this campaign where, as expected, he won the maiden race over 1100m in convincing fashion. He then lined up in the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield where from last in the small field, he worked home along the fence after pushing through a gap at the 200m to run third (2.6 lengths) behind Eloping. A more solidly run race would appear to be in his favour but the class will be testing.
13. ARMADA – B Melham (13)
Impeccably bred son of Fastnet Rock from the Moody yard who had no luck at all last start in the Listed Crown Lager (1400m), he’s third run in this prep. Soon after the start he suffered a significant check that saw him settle last and from that position, with a bunched field in front of him as they turned, he spent most of the straight trying to find a clear path through. He did well to finish eighth (4.3 lengths) behind Stratum Star. Hasn’t had much luck at his last two starts whilst I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this colt in the future, a race of this quality at this stage of his career may just be a little too rich.
14. EARTHQUAKE – J McDonald (2)
Keep her perfect Melbourne record intact and registered her first win in three starts this campaign with a length win over Tawteen (since won again) in the G3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m). It was a good win considering the Blue Diamond winner blundered at the start and was under the steadier of 59kgs. Last start will serve as a good confidence boost and worth remembering, that due to a lot of rain Sydney, her start to this preparation was postponed by a few weeks. Faces a tougher test here but last start was a good confidence boost for her and the blinkers go on here after she worked well in them last week. At her best she will be right in the mix.
15. ELOPING – S Baster (12)
Fantastic filly who registered her sixth career win from her eleventh start, when leading all the way to record a comfortable 1.8 length win in the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in the week leading into the Cup. As always, the daughter of Choisor made her own luck by taking up the running and runner her rivals, headed by Sultry Feeling, into the ground. Will be kept far more honest in the lead position here with a field of great depth sure to test her over the final 100m.
16. BRING ME THE MAID – L Nolen (14)
Looked set for a good campaign after returning with an easy win in the G2 Silver Shadow Stakes late August however, in three runs since, the Peter Moody trained galloper has missed a place on each occasion. Her most recent start was in the G1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) three weeks ago where she finished fourth (1.1 lengths) behind Amicus, where she closed steadily in the run home after securing a nice run just off the speed. Three weeks break since then fits nicely for a return to 1200m up the straight however, she meets some well-credentialed males and will have to be at the very top of her game, which she hasn’t quite been this time in. Any cut out of the track helps.
Rich Enuff appears to tick all the boxes here. Good form, fit, proven straight course, draw that will enable him to choice a more advantageous side of the track should there be one. It’s hard to see him not figuring in the finish. Initial concerns about Brazen Beau, who’ll be looking to emulate Zoustar by winning the Roman Consul/Coolmore Stud Stakes double and Kuro drawing wide, were tempered when Eloping and Rich Enuff drew close to them inside. They both should get a nice run off the pace and finish off strongly. It’ll be interesting to see where Rubick and Earthquake, who are both drawn the fence, end up here. They may both stick to the fence and run their own race. Best value chance in the race for mine is Scissor who should fall in behind the pace and get a nice run.
- BRAZEN BEAU
- RICH ENUFF