The 2014 Coolmore Classic is over a week away, but the scramble for rides has already began in earnest; with Brenton Avdulla, Glyn Schofield and Damien Oliver all securing mounts for the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
Avdulla steered Arinosa to victory in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm this morning, but he has elected to ride Sharnee Rose in the Coolmore Classic after being disappointed with the performance of Arinosa in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) in Melbourne.
“I thought Arinosa trialled okay; I wasn’t happy with her at Caulfield at all but she felt a lot better today than what she did when she was in Melbourne,” Avdulla told TVN.
The decision of which mare to ride in the Coolmore Classic was made easier for Avdulla on Saturday, when Sharnee Rose stormed home late to finish second behind Catkins in the Group 2 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm.
Sharnee Rose resumed with a fair fourth in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15 and looks in excellent condition for her return to Group 1 racing next weekend.
Glyn Schofield, who reunited with Boban to win the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) last Saturday, will partner Arinosa for the first time in the Coolmore Classic.
Another jockey that has picked up a plumb ride for the 2014 Coolmore Classic is Damien Oliver, who has been booked to ride consistent mare Dear Demi.
Dear Demi produced the best first-up run of her career to finish third in the Wiggle Stakes and appears to have maintained the stellar form that she showed during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Dehere mare resumed with a seventh place finish in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1200m) before finishing a most impressive third behind Kiwi superstar It’s A Dundeel and glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Dear Demi recorded additional placings at Group 1 level when she was third behind Fawkner and Dandino in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and second behind Side Glance in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), but she failed to stay the trip in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) and finished nineteenth.
Nominations for the Coolmore Classic will be taken next Monday before the final field and barrier draw is released on Wednesday.