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GROUP ONE COOLMORE STUD STAKES

1200m, 3yo set weights, $1 million, Flemington

HISTORY:

* Formerly known as Ascot Vale Stakes and upgraded to Group One in 2006.

* The Ascot Vale was first run for three-year-olds at set weights and penalties in 1969 when won by Vain. Before that it was a race for two-year-olds.

NOTABLE WINNERS:

* Vain (1969), Century (1972), Taj Rossi (1973), Toy Show (1975), Surround (1976), Manikato (1978), Rancher (1982), Campaign King (1985), Zeditave (1988), Weekend Hussler (2007), Sepoy (2011), Brazen Beau (2014), Flying Artie (2016).

TALKING POINTS:

* In 1995 New Zealander Our Maizcay set race record of 1:08.2 which still stands

* Chris Waller has trained three of the past four winners – Zoustar (2013), Brazen Beau (2014) and Japonisme (2015) – and has Andaz this year

* Flying Queensland filly Gold Edition won in 2006, the year it became a Group One race. Since then Headway (2009) and Nechita (2012) are the only two fillies to win

* There are six fillies in the race this year – Houtzen, Catchy, Tulip Formality, Invincible Star and Limestone. Catchy is the $7.50 second favourite behind Godolphin colt Viridine at $7

* Zoustar and Brazen Beau both won the Group Two Roman Consul Stakes in the lead-up to the Coolmore. This year’s Roman Consul winner is Viridine

STRAIGHT COURSE:

* Flemington hosts the only straight-track races in Australia. Fields can sometimes split towards the inside and outside fences.

KEY COMMENTS:

“He’s a very fast colt and we’ve been delighted with his training. He comes into this third-up and ready to hit an absolute peak. He needs to have gone ahead if he’s going to be winning, but we feel like he’s done that” – Viridine’s trainer James Cummings

“He is a cool dude and nothing worries him. It is a big field with a lot of chances but he goes in as the only last-start Group One winner” – Trapeze Artist’s trainer Gerald Ryan

“I’m a bit of a Catchy fan. I’ve always loved her. And she’s always been a little bit better than Formality and Tulip. I think that might stay the same” – Lindsay Park co-trainer Ben Hayes

 
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