Until last year, when Red Tracer as race favourite defeated stable-mate Catkins by a whisker, the Myer Classic had proven to be a tough race for punters to asses with Appearance ($51), Hurtle Myrtle ($16) and Sacred Choice ($21) saluting in the three years prior. This year’s edition is another tough puzzle for punters to decipher with a quality field of twenty-one (including four emergencies) lining up, with Catkins well in contention again at $7.00. Early favourite is May’s Dream ($4.60) with no less than a further dozen mares listed at or under $20.00. Second favourite Sweet Idea ($6.50) who looks well placed to win herself a much deserved victory at the elite level. Only three in the field, Diamond Drille, May’s Dream and Viadana ($26), have won at his level previously with a further six – Sweet Idea, Catkin, Solict ($7), Forever Loved ($26), You’re So Good ($51) and Star Fashion ($16), having been placed.
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1. SWEET IDEA – T Berry (1)
This fantastic mare continues her fine form having won two of her four starts and finishing second and fourth – in open G1 company – in the other, this campaign. After winning the G2 Missile Stakes first up and running second to Dissident in the G1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), the Snitzel filly lined up in the G1 Rupert Clarke and took up her customary role of leader. As always, she fought on gamely running fourth (2.3 lengths) behind Trust In A Gust and was then installed the 7/2 favourite for the G2 Tristarc (1400m). She led and gave her opposition the slip at the top of the straight and although they were closing on her on the line, she still had three quarters of a length to spare. Steps up to 1600m here, for the first time in her career, but she did run a narrow second to Steps In Time in the G1 Coolmore over 1500m during the autumn and will get every chance to run it right out after drawing barrier one.
2. CATKINS – D Oliver (8)
After an impressive win first up the 5yo mare was sent out a 2/1 on favourite for the G3 Golden Pendant (1400m) but, despite being given the run of the race, she didn’t accelerate as expected and fought her way to the line to run second to Arabian Gold. She then came to Melbourne for the G2 Tristarc, where she again got a lovely run in transit, but wasn’t able to reel in tough mare Sweet Kiss who took the event from Girl Guide with Catkins, holding on for third, 2.1 lengths away. Hasn’t been left with any excuses her last two.
3. DIAMOND DRILLE – S Arnold (3)
After failing to handle the heavy track under 59gs in the G3 Toy Show first up, trainer Gai Waterhouse gave her G1 winning mare another eight weeks off before producing her in the G2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago at Caulfield. From a good draw she settled handy to the speed and found the eventual winner’s (Sweet Idea) back as the filed turned for home. She could only battle away in the straight and finished seventh (2.5 lengths). Will strip much fitter for that run and her last two starts over a mile have seen her claim the G3 Aspiration Stakes and G1 Queen Of The Turf, producing big finishes on each occasion from the second half of the field.
4. MAY’S DREAM – B Rawiller (11)
Just had to ease off the heels of the eventual winner at a crucial stage in the G2 Blazer Stakes (1400m) two runs back, before coming again on the line to run third (1.4 lengths) behind Forever Loved. She then competed over 1400m again when producing a strong finish out wide and from near last, to run fourth (2.2 lengths) to Sweet Idea in the G2 Tristarc Stakes, who led and was again the fence. Looks cherry-ripe for the mile and hard to see the finish without her involved heavily in it.
5. VIADANA – J Moreira (7)
New Zealand mare who was well beaten first up from a spell in her homeland and hasn’t raced supports hopes to any degree in either of her starts in Australia since. She held her ground in the run home to finish eighth of ten in the G2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) behind Commanding Jewel and only slightly improved her position from the tail of the field when eleventh of sixteen in the G3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) at Caulfield a few weeks back. “Magic Man” Moreira would have to pull something out of his out to get this mare across the line first in her current form.
6. BONARIA – M Rodd (10)
She found herself four back and on the fence last start in the G3 Ladies Vase at (1600m) followed by plenty of trouble as she looked for a clear path home. She crossed the line in seventh spot (2.7 lengths) behind Star Fashion but with a touch of luck, would’ve made things very interesting. The 6yo hasn’t had much luck at her last two starts but a return to the Flemington mile where she’s three wins from four starts, including the G3 Mannerim and Schweppes Stakes, should see get her chance and ran well at good value.
7. SOLICIT – D Lane (5)
Big things were expected from this Street Cry mare when she returned to racing as a 4yo in the G2 Let’s Elope Stakes however, a significant betting drift 7/2 out to 7/1 told us she wasn’t going to run well and she didn’t, finishing seventh of ten behind Commanding Jewel. She got things her own way when leading in the G2 Stock Stakes (1600m) at her next start but found good mare Dear Demi a touch to strong on the line, running second by a narrow margin. Her next and most recent starts saw her draw poorly in the G1 Toorak Handicap, gate fourteen in field of fifteen, but cross to lead. Given the run and quality of opposition, she stuck on well for eighth placing (2.8 lengths) behind Trust In A Gust. Will go forward here and is improving with each run. Draw is also a plus and she should be left with no excuses.
8. ENQUARE – C Newitt (18)
Her first two runs back from a spell were terrific, running sixth (1.7 lengths) and second (1.3 lengths) behind Girl Guide and Forever Loved in the G3 Sportingbet (1200m) and G2 Blazer Stakes respectively. She then lined up in the G2 Tristarc and from the second to widest draw in the field of ten, decided to push forward and follow leader and eventual winner Sweet Idea. The Jason McLachlan tried mare tried to go with the winner but was no match the final furlong and dropped out to run last (4.9 lengths). Steps up to a mile now and a race of greater depth still. Hard to see her handling either with success on her last run, especially when jumping from such a poor draw.
9. ESTONIAN PRINCESS – B Avdulla (19)
Snitzel mare who made popular elect Neena Rock work hard for her head victory in the G3 Angst Stakes (1600m) last time out, after leading from a wide draw. She’s claimed the G3 J H B Carr Stakes (1400m) last campaign defeating Northern Glory by producing a big finish down the centre of the track. That was her third and most recent career win and although an honest competitor, she’ll probably find this grade – which she takes on for the first time in her career – too strong and the draw has done her no favours.
10. GIRL GUIDE – C Williams (20)
Hasn’t run a bad race in her ten career starts and is yet to finish outside of the money. She had a nice run in transit and got he split when it was required but was collared by the fast-finishing Griante in the G3 Series Final (1200m) two starts back, finishing second (0.5 length). The Hayes/Dabernig runner then chased Sweet Idea tenaciously in the run home, finishing second again (0.8 length) after a nice run in transit. She’s a real competitor this mare and generally puts herself in the race however, she’ll need plenty of luck from the second to widest gate.
11. FOREVER LOVED – T Clark (13)
She has really been mixing her runs up this time in which makes her a hard case to assess accurately. A great run in the Cockram Stakes first up, was followed up by a lacklustre effort in the G3 Sportingbet that saw her settle and then finish last of twelve, over five lengths form the winner Girl Guide. The High Chaparral mare bounced back with a strong win in the G2 Blazer Stakes after taking up a more prominent position in the run, defeating Enquare and May’s Dream by 1.3 lengths before pulling up lame in the G3 Ladies Day Vase when twelfth behind Star Fashion. At her best she’d be rated a half a chance but it’s too hard to say with any confidence that is what she’ll produce.
12. YOU’RE SO GOOD – C Schofield (14)
As her strike rate of two wins from twenty-two starts would suggest, it’s been a long while since this Nigel Blackiston trained mare crossed the line in first position. She led last week when contesting the G3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) but found stable-mate too Suavito too strong late and ran third (1.4 lengths). It was a typically honest performance and whilst she’s been Listed and Group placed in the past, her past three attempts at the top grade have seen her well accounted for on each occasion and that should be the case again come Saturday.
13. STAR FASHION – M Walker (2)
Been ridden an absolute treat by Michael Walker in her two victories since from as many starts since returning from a spell. She flashed home last to win a BM 90 (1400m) before securing a rails run from a seemingly hopeless position on the home turn in the G3 Ladies Vase (1600m), to defeat Lady Cumquat and Suavito by a slender margin. Finding all the right ways home at the moment but she’ll have to again after drawing an inside gate which sees her mapped as needing plenty of luck from the 800m home.
14. POLITENESS – N Hall (10)
Had to work her way to the centre of the track for the first half of the straight before flashing home last to run fourth (1.5 lengths) to Forever Loved in the G2 Blazer Stakes (1400m) two starts back before running fifth (2.4 lengths) to Sweet Idea in the G2 Tristarc (1400m). Found a nice spot mid-field in the running line last start and whilst she didn’t have the acceleration at the top of the straight of some of the others, she was closed strongly again on the line finishing fifth (2.4 lengths). Best when ridden stone cold – as she was when she swooped home to win the G3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the autumn, and the way this race will be run, will allow her to do that. Only the three wins from fifteen starts but if the breaks go her way, she’ll be finishing harder than most.
15. MYAMIRA – R Thompson (9)
Back-maker who hasn’t had the chance to get into either of her races back from a twelve week spell. The G3 winner finished fourth (4.4 lengths) first up in the G3 Golden Pendant behind Arabian Gold and Catkins before never getting warm in a leader dominated race, finishing last of ten in BM 95 (1600m) last start. Can produce a big finish with the right conditions but even if those conditions prevail here, the class of race will probably find her out, as he did in her previous and only G1 race the Tatt’s Tiara, where she finished tenth (3.9 lengths) behind Cosmic Endeavour.
16. NEENA ROCK – T Angland (6)
Two big finishes in the G3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) and G3 Golden Pendant (1400m) where the kiwi mare finished third and fourth respectively, had punters salivating when she got the mile of the G3 Angst Stakes (1600m) three weeks ago. She was heavily backed 5/4 favourite but was made work for the win by Estonian Princess who played to the track bias and led. Neena Rock came from midfield and although looking like she was going to go right on with it at the top of the straight, had to dig deep to get the job done. A Flemington mile run at a solid clip will appeal to this daughter of Fastnet Rock and it’ll be no surprise to see her finishing hard late.
17. GIRL IN FLIGHT – K McEvoy (17) (1st EM)
Big run first up from a twenty-three week spell in the G2 Blazer Stakes (1400m) where from a poor draw, the Robbie Griffiths trained mare was posted deep throughout. Despite the tough run she was within reach of the leaders right up until the final fifty metres before finishing ninth (3.4 lengths) behind Forever Loved. She then settled back in the G2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) and didn’t have a great deal of room in between horse as she looked to make her run home. She crossed the line in sixth place (2.5 lengths) behind Sweet Idea but with a clear passage, could’ve narrowed that margin again. Looks primed for a mile third up and in an open race, represents some real value for mine.
18. ZONZA – D Dunn (12) (2nd EM)
A Kiwi mare from the Roger James yard who is no stranger to spring racing in Australia. She took at the G3 Snowhite Classic (1600m) last year from Bonaria but in eight runs since, the six most recent of which have been in New Zealand, the daughter of Zabeel hasn’t won another race, or ran a place for that matter. Not that she hasn’t been close on occasions including her most recent start which resulted in her running fourth (long neck) in the G1 Ormand Memorial (2040m). That was only her second run from a spell and the stable would’ve have had this race in mind for her for a long time now. Would have to think they’d be happy with the plan thus far.
19. QUAYSIDE – J McDonald (4) (3rd EM)
A Peter Moody trained mare who continues to improve with racing. She won her first two runs back from a spell – a Hillside BM 70 and the in Adelaide, the Listed Penang Trophy (1800m), before going within a head of making it a hat-trick when second to No Excuses Bec in the Pinker Pinker Quality at Cranbourne. Going well this time in and rounded out last campaign with a fourth (0.9 length) behind May’s Dream in the G1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m).
20. MAHARA – B Shinn (15) (4th EM)
Something beaten first up in a BM 84 (1350m) at Rosehill first up from a spell after the Hussonet mare had no luck getting a run behind a wall of horses. She made amends for it though at her next and most recent start, when claiming a BM 85 (1400m) at Randwick a fortnight ago. Was giving a peach of a ride by the in-form Blake Shinn but she still had to dig deep late to hold off the challenge from All Cerise. The Snowden Racing mare ran a head second to Diamond Drille in the G3 Aspiration Stakes (1600m) last campaign so she can produce the good on her day but for her to be winning here, would’ve liked to have seen her win in a more authoritative manner last start.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Solicit leads with Sweet Idea and Catkins taking up forward positions whilst from wider out, the likes of Estonian Princess, Girl Guide Enquare will come across and ensure a solid tempo. She’s a bomb-proof mare Sweet Idea and should get the lovely run from gate one. She has to go into selections as does May’s Dream who is perfectly suited to a Flemington mile – especially won that will be ran at a good clip such as this. Gate eleven should see her settle midfield and be able to track into the race before peeling wide in the straight. There’s plenty of value in this race obviously with some of those at double figure prices catching the eye including Bonaria – unlucky last couple and has good record this track/trip and Diamond Drille, another who has a good record this trip and who will strip much fitter for last start, her first in eight weeks. Should see get a starts, Girl In Flight has shown enough in her two runs back from a spell to warrant serious consideration.
- MAY’S DREAM
- SWEET IDEA
- DIAMOND DRILLE