2017 Darley Classic – Preview and Tips
Darley Classic, Flemington Tips 1200m
Many of these gallopers last caught up with each other trying to scale the biggest mountain in Australian horse racing. That was The Everest; some four weeks ago. Plus, some of them backed up in the Manikato Stakes on the Friday night Cox Plate meeting. This time, the Straight Six of Flemington beckons, the final Group 1 sprint of the year in Melbourne: the Darley Classic.
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The hot speed will be on. The fastest guns in the land will be taking each other on yet again. Who will prevail this time?
1 CHAUTAUQUA (13), M Wayne & J Hawkes, D Dunn, (58.5kg), $6.00
2 REDZEL (10), P & P Snowden, K McEvoy, (58.5kg), $3.80
3 VEGA MAGIC (4), D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, L Nolen, (58.5kg), $4.80
4 TERRAVISTA (7), J Pride, B Avdulla, (58.5kg), $51.00
5 MALAGUERRA (14), P Gelagotis, B Melham, (58.5kg), $15.00
6 IMPENDING (11), J Cummings, C Brown, (58.5kg), $8.00
7 REDKIRK WARRIOR (GBR) (3), D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, R Bayliss, (58.5kg), $13.00
8 CLEARLY INNOCENT (9), K Lees, B Shinn, (58.5kg), $23.00
9 ROCK MAGIC (2), C Gangemi, D Lane, (58.5kg), $41.00
10 SPIETH (NZL) (6), B Heys, B Rawiller, (58.5kg), $26.00
11 MAN FROM UNCLE (12), A & E Cummings, M Dee, (58.5kg), $81.00
12 IN HER TIME (1), B Smith, C Brown, (56.5kg), $8.00 SCR
13 MISSROCK (5), R Laing, N Callow, (56.5kg), $27.00
14 SUPER CASH (8), A Noblet, K Mallyon, (56.5kg), $51.00
Not lining up on Saturday is the Manikato winner and transformed sprinter Hey Doc. He would’ve made the race interesting, and is already a Group 1 winner at Flemington.
Sure to grab attention is champion Chautauqua. The Grey Flash was sensationally scratched at the barrier in the Manikato, so he owes punters and his tribe of supporters some payback. He’s placed second in the Darley Classic twice before (2014, 2015) and is surely due another Group 1 crown. I’m hoping it will be this Saturday.
The Everest winner Redzel is sure to set a hot speed, and if he’s good enough on the day, he may yet pick up another big scalp. Somehow I don’t think his rivals will let him dictate like he did in The Everest.
Jockey of the moment Corey Brown is on In Her Time. She’s drawn the inside gate and is sure to hug the inside rail even if the field does split. There’s no real weight relief for the mares, so she’ll be doing it hard against the boys.
As of Thursday, no replacement rider had been engaged for Vega Magic. Was it a hard luck story from The Everest? Racing journos say yes, I say no. Still, he’s one of the best chances in the race, so definitely have him in your trifecta.
Redkirk Warrior was the winner of the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap back in the Autumn, so has won on the track and at the distance. Recent form has only been moderate but might find his mojo in a familiar setting and on a good surface. Could surprise. Regan Bayliss is back onboard after missing the Melbourne Cup.
Malaguerra is another dangerous prospect considering his recent form. He tends to wind up from the back, and from his outside draw, may come down the outside part of the track. Seeing both he and Chautauqua finishing over the top could be one of the highlights of the day.
Trainer Joe Pride was interviewed on Racing.com on Oaks Day, and was asked about Terravista‘s chances in the race. He said the horse was in great order and ready to give this field a shake. He’s won the Darley Classic before (2014) plus the shorter Lightning Stakes, so obviously knows how to handle the ‘straight six’. At $51.00, he is the obvious roughie.
I’ll hedge my bets and keep Redzel at the top of the pops. This galloper has genuine speed tp burn, but you can bet your bottom dollar that all his rivals will be hunting him down. If he gets away on them with 300m to go, he could be hard to peg back. That’s what I’m hoping for. He won’t be paying a lot. His SP is $3.80.
Redzel, Chautauqua, Malaguerra
Darley Classic – check the odds on William Hill