Between them, local Warwick Farm trainers Bjorn Baker and Jason Coyle saddle-up more than half the field for Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 Yarraman Park Breeders Classic (1200m) with two runners each in the Sydney feature.
Previously contested at Royal Randwick, this autumn’s Breeders Classic field will face off on the weekend at Warwick Farm Racecourse and the mares’ only clash has drawn a diminutive but class line-up of nine runners.
Two of those come from the stables of Baker who saddles-up the in-form Egyptian Symbol from gate six and the returning Bonny O’Reilly in gate eight.
Coyle meanwhile has two genuine chances in a key early lead-up to the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 17 with Slightly Sweet and Memes drawn in barriers seven and nine respectively.
Of the two Baker runners the best fancied likely to sit high up the Breeders Classic odds once released at Ladbrokes.com.au is Egyptian Symbol to be ridden by Jason Collett third-up.
A five-year-old daughter of Stratum, Egyptian Symbol is out to improve on her Breeders Classic second to In Her Time in the race last year that was run at Randwick.
Back in early December the mare enjoyed a Rosehill win in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) run on a rain-affected track and she has been freshened-up since her last start third to Viddora in the Gold Coast’s $1 million Magic Millions Sprint (1200m) on January 13.
Both of Coyle’s runners are winning chances including Charge Forward six-year-old Slightly Sweet who has the Coolmore Classic in sight.
The dual Group 3 winner contested the 2016 edition of the Coolmore Classic when eighth to Peeping, but has matured well over the past 24 months.
Her latest win was at Rosehill back in mid-July last year in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) and she hasn’t raced since her third in the Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) a fortnight later.
Coyle has trialled her three times leading up to the Breeders Classic return where he hopes she can be competitive first-up.
“She will run on Saturday and we want to get her up to 1500 metres again,” he told AAP.
“If she is going well then hopefully she gets to the Coolmore Classic again.”
As for stablemate Memes, the Time Thief four-year-old is on the short seven day back-up having finished dead last when sixth to Trapeze Artist at Rosehill in last Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m).
That was a forgivable run according to Coyle, who hopes the mare can return to the form that saw her win the Summer Sprint (1000m) on January 20.
“Her saddle went right back at the start of the race and that was the end of it,” he said of Memes in the Expressway.
“She just wanted to over-race then and the whole thing was forgettable.”
Apprentice Rachel King retains the ride on Memes in the Breeders Classic.
Other standout Breeders Classic final acceptors include the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Group 1 performer Prompt Response in gate two and Matthew Smith’s last start Randwick winner Faraway Town.
2018 Breeders Classic Field of Final Acceptances: Prompt Response (2), Egyptian Symbol (6), Danish Twist (1), Bonny O’Reilly (8), Slightly Sweet (7), Memes (9), Faraway Town (5), Tswalu (4), Nettoyer (3).