The Linsday Park trio of Catchy, Tulip and Formality have drawn opposite sides of the track in the capacity field for the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Twenty three-year-olds will line up for the $1 million sprint down the Flemington straight and if one of the Lindsay Park three win, she will be the first filly to claim victory since the John Thompson trained Nechita won in 2012.
Conditions on the day will determine if the inside or the outside section of the Flemington straight holds any advantages but the David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig team will have chances on both sides of the track with Formality drawing barrier two, Tulip worse than midfield at thirteen while Catchy will jump from gate seventeen.
Kerrin McEvoy has retained the mount on Formality after the pair have combined for three wins from their last four starts together, their latest when they beat Coolmore Stud Stakes rival Jukebox in the Group 3 $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 18.
English jockey Jamie Spencer takes over from Tim Clark on Tulip who finished fifth last start in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 while Hugh Bowman replaces Mark Zahra on Catchy who has been freshened up after finishing third to Mighty Boss in the Group 1 $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Zahra has stuck with the Aaron Purcell trained Merchant Navy who will wear the blinkers for the first time from barrier fifteen while Craig Williams will ride the stablemate Jukebox from barrier three.
Merchant Navy will be clashing again with Trapeze Artist after he suffered his first defeat from five starts when tenth to the Gerald Ryan trained colt in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 23.
Trapeze Artist has also been kept to the sprinting distances and will jump from barrier eighteen with Golden Rose winning jockey Tye Angland in the saddle again.
Godolphin’s Australian trainer James Cummings has a strong hand in the Coolmore Stud Stakes with Kementari (barrier 12), Viridine (Barrier 1) and Malahat (barrier 8).
Cummings has freshened up Kementari who is dropping back from a second over 1600m in the Caulfield Guineas with Damian Lane retaining the mount.
Rising star Virdine is undefeated from four race starts and Brenton Avdulla sticks with the Poet’s Voice colt after the pair combined for two recent wins, the latest being in the Group 2 $300,000 Polytrack Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 7.
Cummings’ third runner Malahat, with the blinkers on for the first time, has French jockey Olivier Peslier replacing Glyn Schofield who was aboard the colt last start when fourth in the Listed $150,000 Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 21.
Brilliant Queensland filly Houtzen is dropping back to three year old company following her last start seventh in The Everest and will jump from barrier five with regular jockey Jeff Lloyd in the saddle again.