The picture has become clearer for the VRC Sprint Classic (1200m), Kennedy Oaks (2500m) and AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) after first acceptances were taken by Racing Victoria (RV) today for the trio of Flemington Group 1 races.
Thirty-six three-year-olds are still in the running to line up in this year’s $2 million Victoria Derby, including Thinkin’ Big, who rocketed to the top of the betting markets after his dominant win in Saturday’s Group 3 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m).
The horses he beat into second and third place respectively, Chapada (trained by Mike Moroney) and Sirkosky (Team Lindsay Park), will attempt to turn the tables on Saturday, 3 November after they were left amongst the 36 entries.
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir has accepted with four horses, including Savoie, the winner of last month’s Victoria Derby Trial (1800m), and his Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) winner Extra Brut.
Final acceptances for the Victoria Derby close at 10am on Tuesday 30, October.
Click here to view the first acceptances for the AAMI Victoria Derby
Twenty-five horses remain in contention to win the equivalent race for fillies, which is the highlight of Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington on Thursday, 8 November.
Weir is again well represented, with leading contenders Amphitrite and Kiwi import Verry Elleegant – both seriously impressive winners last time out – amongst his six-strong team of gallopers.
Group 1 winner Oohood heads Tony McEvoy’s trio of entrants, whilst the Lindsay Park team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig also have three contenders remaining, including Listed winners Qafila and Fundamentalist.
Final acceptances for the Kennedy Oaks close at 9am on Monday, 5 November.
Click here to view the first acceptances for the Kennedy Oaks
A total of 34 horses – an increase of nine on the last two years – have stood their ground for the $1 million VRC Sprint Classic, one of the highlights of the final day of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Carnival.
They include last year’s winner Redzel, trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, and seven horses he beat in this year’s renewal of The Everest: Brave Smash (Darren Weir), In Her Time, Le Romain (both Kris Lees), Osborne Bulls (James Cummings), Santa Ana Lane, Shoals (both Anthony Freedman) and U S Navy Flag (Aidan O’Brien).
U S Navy Flag’s stablemates Fleet Review, Intelligence Cross and Spirit Of Valor, who will contest this Friday’s $1 million Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m), are also amongst the entrants, as is Charlie Appleby’s Group 1-winning raider Jungle Cat.
Of the home contingent, Grahame Begg’s Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner Written By will aim to add to his haul of victories at the elite level, together with Lindsay Park’s globetrotting sprinter Redkirk Warrior, who claimed back-to-back Group 1s at Flemington earlier this year.
Final acceptances for the VRC Sprint Classic close at 9:30am on Wednesday 7, November.
Click here to view the first acceptances for the VRC Sprint Classic