A particularly talented field of 16 will line up for the featured 2014 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens this weekend, however betting markets point towards only one possible winner; Catkins, the only runner currently offered at a quote of less-than $10.
Returning to the track in typically scintillating form this year, Catkins can currently be taken by punters at a still-generous quote of $4, ahead of market mover Steps In Time and Royal Descent who share the second line of betting at $10, Lucia Valentina, Dear Demi and Sharnee Rose ($12 each).
Will Catkins justify her overwhelming favouritism in the Coolmore Classic, or will one of her classy rivals find the line in the clear?
While offering many good chances of an upset this weekend, the Coolmore Classic looks likely to fall the way of Catkins, particularly when considering her current form. Producing a blistering turn of foot to overcome a strong sprint from Steps In Time in the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) first-up on February 15th, Catkins was not troubled at all in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) most recently, strolling home to win by more than two lengths. Yet to claim a Group 1 title, the classy Dubawi mare is arguably offered her best chance to break the drought this weekend, but will have to overcome the slightly awkward barrier 14.
Lucia Valentina ($12)
Having produced a particularly strong start to her racing career, talented New Zealand import Lucia Valentina offers punters incredible value for money at her current $12 odds. Claiming two of five races and finishing second in the Group 2 NZ Bloodstock Royal Stakes (2000m) across the ditch before transferring to the care of trainer Kris Lees in January, Lucia Valentina was impressive in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) in her Australian debut on March 8th, overcoming poor position rounding the bend to finish a competitive third behind Thump and Real Surreal. Allocated the ideal barrier 6 for the 2014 Coolmore Classic, the Savabeel filly is offered great chance of a maiden Group 1 this weekend.
Dear Demi ($12)
Placing a disappointing 11th in the 2013 edition of the Coolmore Classic, classy four-year-old Dear Demi bounced back to produce a consistent spring preparation which has seemingly spilled into 2014; claiming a strong third in the Wiggle Stakes first-up on March 8th. Despite drawing the slightly awkward barrier 10, trainer Clarry Conners is confident the Dehere mare can her second-career Group 1 title this weekend, particularly with leading jockey Damien Oliver on board.
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