The 2014 Myer Classic field has been released and a capacity field of 16 mares as well as four emergencies are set to contest the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Sweet Idea (barrier one) is the class horse in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) and she is set to start the $500,000 race as a clear favourite after she drew ideally in barrier one.
The Snitzel mare started her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a win in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and she performed strongly in both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) before she returned to mares company with a tough win in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
Sweet Idea will be stepping up to 1600 metres for the first time in her racing career, but trainer Gai Waterhouse remains confident that the four-year-old can record a maiden win at the highest level of racing.
Waterhouse won the Myer Classic with Lotteria in 2005 and she will have multiple chances of winning the race for the second time after Forever Loved (barrier 13) and Queen Of The Turf Stakes winner Diamond Drille (barrier three) were also included in the acceptances for the Group 1 event.
Catkins (barrier eight) finished a close second behind Red Tracer in the Myer Classic last year and the Chris Waller-trained mare will have the chance to go one better in this year’s race.
The Dubawi mare started her spring preparation with a comfortable win in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13, but was beaten as an odds-on favourite in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) at the same venue on September 27 before she was a disappointing third in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
The Tristarc Stakes is set to be the key form reference to the Myer Classic and consistent mare Girl Guide (barrier 20), Australasian Oaks winner May’s Dream (barrier 11), promising mare Politeness (barrier 10) and Queensland-based Enquare (barrier eight )re all set to back-up in the $500,000 event this weekend.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2014 Myer Classic field is David Hayes-trained Star Fashion, who has recorded two wins from as many starts since returning to the races this preparation after failing a vet check ahead of a proposed move to Hong Kong.
Star Fashion (barrier 13) worked home strongly to record an upset win in the Dalziel Racing Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on September 20 and she proved that win was no fluke when she took out the Group 3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) at the same venue on October 15.
The Street Cry mare will be stepping up to Group 1 level for the first time since she finished second in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) and sixth in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) as a three-year-old.
Viadana (barrier seven) , Bonaria (barrier 16), Solicit (barrier five), Estonian Princess (barrier 19), You’re So Good (barrier 14), Myamira (barrier 15) and Neena Rock (barrier 16) round out the 2014 Myer Classic field, while the connections of Girl In Flight, Zonza, Quayside and Mahara are all sweating on runs as emergencies.