The 2014 Coolmore Classic field has been released and does not feature Red Tracer; with trainer Chris Waller electing not to include the talented mare in the acceptances for the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Red Tracer was allocated the top weight of 59kg by Racing New South Wales handicappers and Waller was wary of giving the six-year-old another tough run after she finished third behind Appearance in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) last weekend.
Stablemates Catkins and Royal Descent will now carry the top weight of 58 kilograms and neither received much luck in the Coolmore Classic barrier draw; with both talented mares set to start towards the outside of the field.
Catkins (barrier 14) was narrowly denied a maiden Group 1 win by Red Tracer in the Myer Classic (1600m) on Victoria Derby Day last year and has returned to the races, after a stint in the spelling paddock, in a similar vein of form.
The Dubawi mare resumed with a narrow win over Steps In Time in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15 and stamped herself as a leading Coolmore Classic contender with a comfortable win in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m).
Royal Descent (barrier 13) was far from disgraced when racing against open company throughout the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and will be chasing his first race win since she took out the 2013 Australian Oaks (2400m) in dominant fashion.
Other horses that did not have a great deal of luck in the 2014 Coolmore Classic barrier draw include Japanese mare Hana’s Gold (barrier 15), 2012 Magic Millions Classic winner Real Surreal (barrier 16) and John O’Shea-trained Gypsy Diamond (barrier 17).
Rising Sydney trainer Kris Lees has both Sharnee Rose and Lucia Valentina in the 2014 Coolmore Classic field and both fared well at the barrier draw this morning.
Sharnee Rose will jump from the inside gate and is taking strong form into the Coolmore Classic after flying home late to finish second behind Catkins in the Wiggle Stakes, while Lucia Valentina (barrier six) will be making her debut at Group 1 level following her strong third in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Another mare that had her winning chances increased by the barrier draw is Peter Moody-trained A Time For Julia (barrier three) who has been in stellar form since returning to the races for her autumn preparation.
A Time For Julia resumed with a strong win in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 8 and was far from disgraced behind Red Tracer in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) before scoring a most impressive win in the Group 3 Roy Higgins Tribute (1200m) at Royal Randwick on March 15.
Other key runners in the 2014 Coolmore Classic field include Caulfield Cup placegetter Dear Demi (barrier ten), Joseph Pride-trained Steps In Time (barrier seven), Queensland mare Fire Up Fifi (barrier 12), classy filly Sweet Idea (barrier nine), last start winner Bonaria (barrier eight) and John O’Shea-trained White Sage (barrier 11).