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Last years Empire Rose Stakes winner Shoals

EMPIRE ROSE STAKES

* The Empire Rose Stakes is a Group One, $500,000 weight-for-age race

* It is run at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse over 1600m by fillies and mares only

HISTORY

* Formerly known as the Myer Classic, the race is named after champion mare Empire Rose who completed the 1988 Mackinnon Stakes and Melbourne Cup double

* First run as a Listed race in 1988 and won by the Colin Hayes-trained Concordance

* Had a stint as a Group Three (1995-6) before being elevated to a Group Two in 1997 and a Group One in 2004

* Three-year-old fillies became eligible in 2002 when the race went from set weights plus penalties to weight-for-age

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Lotteria (2005), Divine Madonna (2007), Forensics (2008), Typhoon Tracy (2009), Red Tracer (2013), Shoals (2017)

TALKING POINTS

* The favourite is the Darren Weir-trained filly Amphitrite

* The Empire Rose is the only Group One race out of the four on Derby Day with a sex restriction for fillies and mares only

* The 2016 winner I Am A Star – the first filly to score – will contest the race for a third time

* The fastest time recorded was 1:34.20 by Market Price in 2001

WHAT SOME OF THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING

“Went out and matured into a nice big strong filly, trained well and continued to train well and stay sound” – Darren Weir on Amphitrite

“She has come right at the right time and she’s racing in superb form. I think she’ll be very competitive if not extremely hard to beat” – Gai Waterhouse on Shumookh

“If she can just have a soft run somewhere she’s going to be hard to beat” – Wayne Hawkes on Bella Martini

 
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