Undefeated sprinter Deep Field was the most high profile omission from the 2014 Darley Classic first acceptances that were released by Racing Victoria this afternoon.
Deep Field stamped himself as a horse to watch when he scored an effortless ten lengths victory on debut at Gosford on June 20 and he proved that win was no fluke when he won at Canterbury on July 9 and September 24 in just as impressive fashion.
The Northern Meteor entire was given his first serious test in the Listed City Tatts Club Lightning (1100m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday, but the step up in class proved no problem for the four-year-old and he cruised to a comfortable three lengths victory without being asked for an extra effort by jockey Brenton Avdulla.
Team Hawkes revealed after the win that a trip to Melbourne was on the agenda for Deep Field, but Michael Hawkes said yesterday that the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) was not on the agenda for the talented galloper and the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day loomed as his likely option in Melbourne.
Two other notable omissions from the 2014 Darley Classic first acceptances were Miracles Of Life and Bel Sprinter, who finished as joint winners of the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The win was Bel Sprinter’s first since he took out the 2013 edition of the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens, while Miracles Of Life returned to winning form in Melbourne for the first time since her popular win in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) during the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
Both Bel Sprinter and Miracles Of Life were included in the nominations for the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes that were released yesterday and connections plan to take the two sprinters to Perth for the Group 1 sprint.
While Deep Field, Bel Sprinter and Miracles Of Life will not contest the Darley Classic, there is still set to be plenty of talent in the Group 1 event at Flemington at the end of the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Group 1 Manikato Stakes is always the key lead-up to the Darley Classic and the likes of Angelic Light, Buffering, Bounding, Famous Seamus, Lankan Rupee, Moment Of Change, Not Listenin’tome, Platelet, Rebel Dane, Temple Of Boom and Terravista are to set run in both races.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2014 Darley Classic will be leading European sprinter Slade Power and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner has impressed onlookers with his trackwork since arriving in Australia.
Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua ($2.80) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Darley Classic betting markets from Terravista ($5.50), Lankan Rupee ($6), Slade Power ($7.50) and Buffering ($9).