As the Melbourne Cup hangover begins to wear off for a lot of punters, we are lucky enough to have one more awesome day of racing to close out the VRC Spring Carnival. The 2017 Emirates Stakes Day will offer up nine extremely strong races including two Group 1’s. These are of course, the 2000m Emirates Stakes and the 1200m Darley Classic. With some strong horses in contention for both these races I have narrowed down the respective fields down to who I believe are your best chances. Good luck!
A Group 1 race for the sprinters, The Darley Classic offers up $1 million in prize money. It is held for horses three years and older and under weight-for-age conditions. It is seen as one of the major sprint races on the racing calendar.
1, 6, 2
1. Chautauqua ($6,700) (13)
If there is a major sprint race to be run, you can almost guarantee Chautauqua will be one of the major players. Nicknamed the ‘Grey Flash’, he is one of the most successful sprinters we have seen in recent years. Has won half of his 19 starts at this distance and only missed a place on 4 occasions. Loves it at Flemington having never missed the minors in any of his 8 races here. Finished very strongly in the Everest and was scratched late before the Manikato. Only query will be his form lately having started most races slow and had too much work to do in the straight. Class sprinter. Always a chance.
2. Redzel ($12,100) (10)
The favourite with the bookies and his record justifies this. Has won 5 straight including two G1’s since March this year. Won The Everest last start against a high quality field where he fought hard the whole way through. Finished ahead of Chautauqua and Vega Magic. Has a proven record running the straight and looks like Saturday will suit. Look for him to dig deep again and will be a huge chance.
3. Vega Magic ($9,100) (4)
Talented 5 year old who has won a couple of G1 races. Was disappointing as short priced favourite in the Manikato last start. Was hard ridden and drifted back coming into the straight – Can possibly forgive? Ran home well in The Everest behind Redzel and battled all the way to the line. Has the quality to win this but will need to lift.
6. Impending ($4,200) ( (11)
Was super impressive last start. First up after a long spell, he gave away a few lengths to everyone else coming into the turn and ran home extremely well to finish second behind In Her Time. Made everyone take notice with that run and looks like he will only get better. Very good chance of taking this one out.
12. In Her Time ($5,700) (1)
Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Corey Brown on board with another chance for a big win. Has been flying lately and came very close in the Manikato. All other previous runs this prep have been very solid and I think you need to include here.
The second of the group 1 races, The Emirates Stakes is a 2000m weight-for-age race open to horses of all ages. It has a prize pool of $2 million and attracts high quality fields each year. The contenders for this year’s race are as follows:
7, 10, 3
3. Gailo Chop ($7,300) (9)
Strong win in the Emirates Stakes a couple of starts ago ahead of incumbent Melbourne Cup runner up Johannes Vermeer. Was no match in the Cox Plate to a rampant Winx – who was? He won this exact race last year following from a very similar Cox Plate run. A quality gelding who must always be included. Chance.
4. Tosen Stardom ($3,100) (4)
A group 1 winner who can match it with the best of them on his day. Was a little disappointing in the Kennedy Mile last start where he started slow but held ground through to the line. Super impressive swooping run two runs ago in the G1 Toorak. Finished ahead of the likes of Tom Melbourne and looks like the mile and a half will suit. Place chance.
6. Tom Melbourne ($3,100) (14)
Has been there and thereabouts all this prep. Runner up 4 of his last 5 runs and looks due. Ran his best race so far last start but unfortunately winner was just too good. Decent record at this distance and looks like it should suit again. Not as confident as I have been with him in other races this prep but is tough and will fight for a place.
7. Folkswood ($9,500) (15)
Had an impressive victory in first Australian start at Cranbourne Cup. Ran on well in Cox Plate behind Winx and managed to bag a place. He beat home Gailo Chop and has looked quite strong this prep. Has had a nice little rest since then and will be better for it. He looks the best of this race and for me, goes very close to taking it out.
10. Gingernuts ($6,200) (12)
An impressive gelding out of NZ, he was a winner in Sydney last carnival and has been looking very strong as of late back home. Had a good win first up this prep and flew home in his last run. Looks due and has been well supported in the market. One of the contenders.