The fillies and mares line up in the G2 Emancipation Stakes where Catkins is predictably the short-priced favourite at $1.70. Floria, who ran second in this race last year to Skyerush, is one of only two other runners under double figures odds at $9.00 with the other being Sharnee Rose at $8.00.
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1. CATKINS – J Bowman (6)
A fantastic mare that hasn’t missed a place in her past eleven starts. After winning the G2 Breeder’s Classic (1200m) first up from a spell, followed by a strong win the G3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m), she was the obvious choice to start favourite in the G1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) a fortnight ago. She had top weight of 58kgs and had to jump from gate 13 in the field of sixteen runners, but was able to find a spot early the run just behind the speed. When the leader and eventual winner Steps In Time, gave the field the slip at the 500m, she chased as honestly as ever and did well to hold onto third, 2.4 lengths away. Drawn and weighted much better here and is the one they’ll have to beat.
2. SHARNEE ROSE – B Avdulla (7)
After strong finishing efforts behind Catkins in the G2 Breeder’s Classic and G3 Wiggles Stakes, where she finished fourth and second respectively, she was rated one of the better chance in the Coolmore Classic and sent out at odds of 8/1. She settled mid-field but like the other competitors in the race, was left chasing Steps In Time who pinched what turned out to be the winning break at the 500m. The Nadeem 5yo did well to claim seventh, 3.1 lengths from the winner. Going well and her record at this distance range is very good. She’ll be giving them a start turning but will be finishing hard.
3. FLORIA – C Newitt (4)
She returned from a fifteen week spell for trainer Peter Moody as the 2/1 favourite in the G3 Tressady Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last month. She camped on the speed and fought hard to get past the leader, only to be claimed herself on the line by Five All who enjoyed a sweet run behind the speed. Her only start since saw her start favourite again in the G2 Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago. She wasn’t able to make advantage of her inside gate and got back in the field, finishing a disappointing eighth of ten. She’s a better horse than that and from four, should be able to take up a prominent position but still only the four wins from thirty-two starts with ten placing.
4. CAMEO – K McEvoy (3)
Darley mare who wasn’t sighted first up in the G3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) before contesting the G3 Newmarket Handicap at Newcastle at her next and most recent start. The 4yo finished twelfth but in a bunched finish, was only 3.2 lengths from the winner Mecir. Third up last prep ran sixth (2.9 lengths) behind Sharnee Rose and Red Tracer in the G3 Golden Pendant followed two starts later by a second to Catkins in the G3 Eliza Park. Should get a nice run from three and might be some value for the exotics.
5. VAQUERA – T Berry (10)
Gai Waterhouse’s mare drops back to 1500m after a disappointing effort in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) where she finished last and over a dozen lengths from the winner Junoob. The daughter of High Chaparral was disappointing at her start prior as well, running third as the 5/2 favourite in an Open Handicap over 1900m. Hard to have given current form and the fact that she’s coming from a poor draw.
6. DIAMOND DRILLE – T Clark (1)
Worked home well first up in the G3 Triscay Stakes (1200m), finishing fifth behind Lilliburlero before being caught in the wrong part of a slow track at Warwick Farm in the G2 Wiggle Stakes. Her next and most recent start saw her appreciate the step up to the mile and finish with a strong run down the centre of the track to claim the G3 Aspiration Quality by a head from Mahara. Will get back from her inside draw and need a bit of luck in the run to ensure she has clear running but is in the right kind of form to be competitive in this race.
7. ALZORA – C Reith (11)
Tackles this race first up off a nineteen week spell but her trainer Anthony Cummings has pumped four barrier trials into her over in past five weeks. Two campaigns back she did win the G3 The Vanity first up from a spell, finishing well from the back of the field to defeat You’re So Good. It will be a good effort by both trainer and horse if she were to win this race first up, especially from the widest gate.
8. YOU’RE SO GOOD – D Lane (2)
Still only the two wins from fifteen starts for this Savabeel mare but she certainly has gone close to bettering that record in three starts back from a spell. She finished well to run second to Angel’s Beach at Moonee Valley before closing well again when a neck second to Riziz in the Listed Matrice Stakes in Adelaide. Her most recent start came a fortnight ago in the G2 Sunline Stakes where she settled closer to the speed than her previous starts but wasn’t able to hold of the fast finishing Text’n’Hurley and ran third. Going well but at this level, just needs to find a length or two to be winning.
9. ANGEL OF MERCY – C Schofield (5)
Left Gerald Ryan’s stable to spend some time in Western Australia at the end of last year where she picked up the Listed Northam Cup (1600m) in convincing style in one of her four starts she had for Grant Williams. Back with Ryan now and tackles this race after having run fourth in the Listed Bunbury Stakes (1400m) where she made a lot of ground from the tail of the field. Unorthodox preparation to say the least and would prefer several other before getting to her.
10. WISTFUL – C Williams (9)
Drew wide when resuming in the G3 Wiggle Stakes and raced at the tail of the field without making an improvement in the run home on the slow track, finishing last and just short of a dozen lengths from the winner Catkins. Her only start since saw her finish an unlucky tenth behind Mecir the G3 Newmarket Handicap at Newcastle a little of a fortnight ago. From an inside draw, she had nowhere to go in the run home and was never fully tested in the straight when looking like she had plenty to offer. She progressed rapidly through the grades last campaign, culminating in a third behind Floria in the G3 Summond Stakes. Last start indicates she may be able to produce something similar to that here at good odds.
11. LORNA MAY – J McDonald (8)
The impeccably bred daughter of Redoute’s Choice was only caught late two starts back by the promising Interspersed in the Listed Canberra Guineas (1400m) before running home well in the G3 Keith Nolan (1600m) a fortnight ago, finishing sixth and two lengths behind another promising galloper in Zanbagh. This is only her sixth start and still open to improvement Stable and Jockey are working well at the moment and rates a place chance.
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Floria likely leader and able to set her own tempo but parked on her hammer will be Catkins. It is hard to see this race panning out in any other manner than a win to Chris Waller’s mare. Sharnee Rose has been good but cautious about how far back she gets in a race where the tempo only seems moderate. You’re So Good might be the one from gate two that ends up in a good spot during the run. She’s been good in each of her three runs back from a spell and will be better for having had the hit-out last start over a mile.
- SHARNEE ROSE
- YOU’RE SO GOOD