The Group 1 Myer Classic for fillies and mares has produced some of the most spectacular finish-es on Derby Day over recent years. Appearances sweeping finish in 2012 and stable-mates Catkins and Red Tracer fighting it out in 2013 quickly come to mind. A quick look at the competitors in this year’s edition and we should ex-pect nothing less. Heading the market is Stay With Me, a 3yo filly who only has 49kgs but, has drawn the widest gate in the field of fifteen. She’s $4.20 ahead of Royal Descent at $6.00, with Azkadella at $8.00, the only other runner under double figure odds in a typically tough Myer Classic Field. Four of the past five winners of this race have started at double figure odds, four of those $20.00 or greater with the last favourite to salute being Typhoon Tracey in 2009 who started 5/4. Another interesting fact to note is that the four winners of this race have jumped from gates 13, 10, 13 and 13.
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1.ROYAL DESCENT – J Bowman (5)
Fantastic mare that has been in sensation form this campaign prior to her failure in the Caulfield Cup where she drew wide, pushed forward and simply failed to see out the 2400m trip. Back to her own sex here and a mile, with a perfect draw and Bowman aboard, she’s surely to run well.
2. SOLICIT – B Avdulla (13)
Drew wide, like she has again for Saturday, and sat on the speed before beating all bar La Passe home in the Tristarc Stakes (1400m). That was her first run for four months and could only be better for it. Will have to do some work early but has been going very well for trainer Gerald Ryan since joining his yard earlier this year.
3. MAY’S DREAM – D Lane (7)
Excellent in both the William Hill (1200m) and G2 Let’s Elope Stakes at her first two runs back from a spell before being shaded by Fenway in the Stocks Stakes when starting the 7/2 favourite. Hasn’t been seen since that run, which was a month ago now, and had no luck contesting this race last year, also when fourth up from a spell, after being caught deep throughout.
4. MISS ROSE DE LAGO – O Bosson (2)
Gave those punters who took the 5/2 no reason for concern last start with a 3.3 length win in the G3 Ladies Day Vase at Caulfield. She led all the way and from gate two, will get the same opportunity to lead them here again. She’ll give them plenty to chase down.
5. POLITENESS – D Dunn (10)
Produced her big finish at each of her two runs back from a spell, claiming the G3 William Hill Stakes (1200m) and G3 Cape Grim Beef from Griante and Wawail respectively. Each of the above two races were over 1200m and three weeks ago, so bit of jump here to the mile but the past few winners of this race have come with sweeping runs down the centre of the track and that’s her go.
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6. JESSY BELLE – Craig Williams (14)
Has caught the eye at each of her past three starts by producing big finishes. She has finished third in the William Hill, Blazer Stakes and last start, the Tristarc Stakes, and could not be in better shape for a tilt at this race. She’ll again drop back to near last after drawing fourteen but does possess a big finish and with an honest speed here likely, will get her chance to steam home.
7. LA PASSE – M Payne (3)
Has been ridden a treat in each of her last two victories by Michelle Payne who is aboard again here. Recorded a strong win in the G2 Blazer Stakes as a 40/1 shot two starts back before proving it no fluke by winning the G2 Tristarc a fortnight ago, defeating Solicit by a head. Probably should’ve won by more last start given she found some traffic on the turn and will again find herself in the box seat from gate three. A mare in form is never to be underestimated and once they start, the Weir runners often keep on winning.
8. ATLANTIS DREAM – B Rawiller (4)
A back-maker who requires a bit of luck in her runs and it’s that element that has been missing from her past couple of outings. Best to forget her run in the Blazer Stakes when settling back and running twelfth before being rid-den closer last weekend in the final race on the card, where it was well-known back-maker had little to no chance, and boxed on to run seventh (3.7 lengths) to Coronation Shallan. Only one way to ride here so they’ll have to go back you’d think from four and she’ll need every to go right for her from there.
9. ABIDEWITHME – D Oliver (1)
Excellent win first up coming from last on the turn to defeat Set Square, and lost no admirers with her eighth placing in the G1 Rupert Clark Stakes (1400m), again coming from a long way back in the run after drawing gate 17, at her following start. It was a similar story in the Toorak Handicap, her most recent run, when sixth (3.8 lengths) to Lucky Hussler. Another that will require luck from an inside draw but is going very well at present in quality races and a return to fillies and mares is another bonus.
10. VERGARA – B Melham (8)
Stuck on ok last time out when sixth (3.2 lengths) in the G3 Angst Stakes (1600m) at Randwick. She settled near the past and given those who filled the pace came from the second half of the field and down the centre of the track, her effort wasn’t a bad one. By the same token it wasn’t one that would see her winning this and it’s hard to see here hold off the challengers late.
11. AMICUS – B Shinn (11)
First two runs back from a spell resulting in a two good ones, the G3 Toy Show and G2 Let’s Elope Stakes, where she produced strong finishes to claim Echo Gal and Precious Gem, each by a neck. She then stepped up to the G1 Rupert Clarke, where she drew wide, settle near last and didn’t make an impact in the run home, a similar scenario to her most recent run, the Tristarc Stakes when second to last (5.6 lengths) to La Passe. Needs to turn it around on her last couple.
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12. FENWAY – J McDonald (12)
Got the perfect run in the G2 Stocks Stakes and defeated May’s Dream by 3/4 of a length but things didn’t go to plan at her next and most recent start, the David Jones Cup. The High Chaparral mare settled beautifully in the one/one but when the pressure went on into the turn, she was gone and finished a distant last. If she’s recovered, she’s a chance here given her record over this trip but last start was a big speed bump in the preparation.
13. SLIGHTLY SWEET – T Berry (9)
Winner of the Keith Nolan Classic at Kembla Grange earlier this year – the same race Appearance won prior to claiming the 2012 Myer Classic, and this Jason Coyle mare’s a rough chance of re-peating the feat given her last start fourth (1.8 lengths) int he Tristarc Stakes. She came from the second half of the field on that occasion and the step up to the mile, as evident above, will suit her as will the big Flemington track. Not without a some kind of rough chance in a competitive race.
14. AZKADELLIA – L Currie (6)
Winning of two of her previous three starts leading into last weekend’s G3 G1X Stakes at Moonee Valley, where she produced a fantastic effort in running a nose second to Coronation Shallan. Ciaron Maher’s mare had to overcome a strong bias, coming from the back of the field and wide, losing no admirers. This harder again but her ratings on heading in the right direction and being only lightly raced, would think the best from her is still yet to come.
15. STAY WITH ME – S Clipperton (15)
Winner of three of her four starts this campaign including a strong 1.8 length win in the 1000 Guin-eas at Caulfield three weeks ago. From gate four the well bred Street Cry mare saved ground rounding the turn before easing off the leading group’s back and extending well over the final furlong. Takes on some seasoned mares here but she is a highly promising filly herself and only needs some good fortune form the wide gate to continue building her already impressive record.
Think they’ll have to have to lead on Stay With Me from that gate and the light weight. She’s good but happy to shop around her at her current price in such an open race. Royal Descent is the one for me. Back to a mile, her own sex, drawn perfectly, with the only blem-ish this time in being the Caulfield Cup which was always going to be an ask. At $6.00 happy to take her each-way all day. Abide me with me is another well suited back to this grade. Needs a touch of luck from the inside but at $10.00, happy to take the chance that Oliver will find her some. The race can throw up a few roughies and I think Slightly Sweet, Jessy Belle and La Passe are the pick of the value runners.