Classy mares Arinosa and Steps In Time are on track to contest the 2014 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 after they both scored comfortable barrier trial victories at Warwick Farm this morning.
Arinosa competed in the second trial of the day over 1200 metres and was settled midfield before working home strongly in the final stages to score an impressive win, despite being kept under a hold by jockey Brenton Avdulla.
The Dash For Cash mare is set to return to Sydney racing for the first time since her win in the 2013 Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m), after having little luck in both the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 8 and the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on February 22 during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
Joining Arinosa in the Coolmore Classic will be Joseph Pride-trained Steps In Time, who led from start to finish in the third barrier trial of the day over 1200 metres at Warwick Farm this morning.
Steps In Time ran the 1200 metres almost a second faster than Arinosa and looks in good form ahead of her third straight tilt at the Coolmore Classic after finishing eighth behind Ofcourseican in 2012 and fourth behind Appearance last year.
The daughter of Danehill Dancer was previously prepared by future Darley trainer John O’Shea and had her first start for Pride in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15, where she was narrowly denied her third straight victory in the race by the in-form Catkins.
Catkins is expected to start the 2014 Coolmore Classic as favourite after she followed up her first-up victory in the Breeders Classic with a comfortable win in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 8, while trainer Peter Snowden revealed yesterday that champion filly Guelph would not take place in the Group 1 event after failing to fire in both the Group 2 Light Finger Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 22 and the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm last Saturday.
The handicaps for the 2014 Coolmore Classic will be released by Racing New South Wales handicappers next Tuesday with the final field announced the following day.