Leading European sprinter Slade Power has been included in the 2014 Darley Classic nominations and remains on track to make the trip to Australia for the Group 1 event at Flemington on November 8.
Slade Power has been a consistent performer at Group level for the last 18 months, but stamped himself as one of the best sprinters in the world with three outstanding performances earlier this year.
The Dutch Art entire started his 2012 racing season with a comfortable victory in the Group 3 Greenlands Stakes (1207m) at Curragh on May 24 before he claimed his maiden win at Group level with a strong performance in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) during the 2014 Royal Ascot meeting on June 21.
Slade Power made it back-to-back wins at the highest level of racing when he took out the Group 1 July Cup (1207m) at Newmarket on July 12 and trainer Edward Lynam confirmed after the race that he would head to Australia for the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
The decision to send Slade Power to Australia for the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival has set up a mouthwatering clash between the leading sprinter in Europe and Lankan Rupee, who is currently rated the best sprinter in the world.
Lankan Rupee took out the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) during the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival and he will contest the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) before running in the Darley Classic.
While Slade Power and Lankan Rupee are set to dominate discussion in the lead-up to the Darley Classic, a number of talented sprinters have been included in the 2014 Darley Classic nominations.
Buffering took out the Darley Classic, when it was known as the VRC Sprint Classic last year, and will be given the opportunity to defend his title in November, while Group 1 winners Bel Sprinter, Boban, Famous Seamus, Miracles Of Life, Overreach, Platelet, Rebel Dane and Temple Of Boom have also been included in the Darley Classic nominations.
No three-year-old has taken out the Darley Classic since Pharein won the race in 1999, but a number of talented three-year-olds have been included in the 2014 Darley Classic nominations.
Hallowed Crown took out the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13, but has been freshened up for a tilt at the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and potentially the Darley Classic, while Brazen Beau, Eloping, Ghibellines, Rubick, Sarajevo and Scissor Kick are the other three-year-olds that are a chance of contesting the Darley Classic.
Other Darley Classic hopefuls including leading Sydney sprinter Terravista, talented mare Gregers, undefeated entire Deep Field, Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua and Gary Moore-trained Not Listenin’tome.