The Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes, formally known as the Myer Classic, has assembled a very open field of fillies and mares to do battle over the 1600m at Flemington on Saturday.
I Am A Star will lead the field out this year wearing the number one saddlecloth and she will be trying to win her second Empire Rose Stakes after claiming victory two years ago as a three year old filly carrying the minimum weight.
Four fillies will be taking on the older mares this year with three of them, Oohood, Seabrook and Amphitrite all boasting Group 1 wins while Fundamentalist was runner up to Amphitrite in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas.
We have analysed the field and our complete 2018 Empire Rose Stakes tips can be found below.
I Am A Star
The Shane Nichols trained I Am A Star was a star two years ago when she won the Empire Rose Stakes, then known as the Myer Classic, as a three year old filly. The I Am Invincible mare is again racing in outstanding form with wins at her last three starts, the 1400m Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington, the 1600m Group 2 Stocks Stakes at The Valley and the 1600m Group 3 Ladies’ Day Vase at Caulfield. Has a great chance to claim the major prize again.
Invincibella is the first of Chris Waller’s two runners in the Empire Rose Stakes and the mare is also racing in good form with a win two starts back in the 1400m Group 2 Blazer Stakes at Flemington and a second in the 1400m Group 2 Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield. Has drawn awkwardly but has the services of Hugh Bowman to help her overcome the wide gate.
Shillelagh is the second of the Chris Waller runners but has been out of the winner’s stall since winning the Group 1 Kennedy Mile over this course and distance twelve months ago. The seven year old mare has finished fourth at her last two starts at Group 1 level and with a bit of luck could sneak into a place.
Eckstein is stepping up sharply in class with her form in the lower grades okay with a win two starts back over 1400m at Flemington followed by a third in the Group 3 Nivison over 1200m at Randwick. Harder here.
Aloisia has been out of the winner’s stall for twelve months but she did show her class with a win in the 2017 Group 1 Thousand Guineas over 1600m at Caulfield. The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained mare showed that she was regaining her best form with a last start third in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield and has each way claims in the Empire Rose Stakes.
Invincible Gem is also coming off a fourth in the Tristarc Stakes but her overall form before was off the pace and she will have to show further improvement to be considered.
Kenedna is the first of Darren Weir’s two runners in the Empire Rose Stakes and showed positive improvement at her third run back from a spell when third to I Am A Star in the Ladies’ Day Vase at The Valley. Has the blinkers going back on and can finish in the placings again.
Bring Me Roses
Bring Me Roses is facing a tough step up in class coming off a second up fourth in the Group 3 Powerflo Solutions Stakes over 1600m at The Valley last Saturday. Damien Oliver will give her every chance.
Shumookh is racing in good form with two wins from her last three starts. The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained mare put herself right into calculations for the Empire Rose Stakes with a last start all the way win in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes over 1400m. Has strong claims. Will jump to the front again for Tim Clark and will be hard to run down.
La Bella Diosa
La Bella Diosa has been installed as one of the outsiders of the Empire Rose Stakes and the Lindsay Park Team have put the blinkers on the five year old mare hoping she can improve on her last start eleventh in the Ladies’ Day Vase.
The Team Hawkes trained Bella Martini is at long double figure odds and would have to improve greatly on her latest seventh in the Tristarc Stakes to finish in the money.
Temple Of Bel
Temple Of Bel made up ground from the back to finish fourth in the Ladies’ Day Vase and place chances appear best.
The Tony McEvoy trained Oohood broke through for an overdue win in the Group 1 Flight Stakes over 1600m at Randwick and the filly wasn’t disgraced when third behind the colts in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas over 1600m at Caulfield. One of the main chances.
Seabrook claimed a Group 1 win at the end of her two year old season in the Champagne Stakes over 1600m at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival. The Mick Price trained filly wasn’t far off the mark last start when third to Amphitrite in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas over 1600m at Caulfield and has each way claims again.
Amphitrite is chasing her fifth win in a row this preparation and has earned favouritism for the Empire Rose Stakes with her last start win in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas over 1600m at Caulfield. The Darren Weir trained filly has drawn in the middle of the pack with lightweight jockey Dean Yendall in the saddle. Yendall has won the last two Empire Rose Stakes (Myer Classic) on three year old fillies and he has a great chance to make it three on the trot.
Fundamentalist has been knocking on the door with seconds at her last two starts but has to overcome a horror barrier draw if she is to figure in the finish again. The Lindsay Park trained filly almost produced a huge boilover at $101 when a head second to Amphitrite in the Thousand Guineas and was runner up again in the Group 2 Fillies Classic over 1600m at The Valley.
Mamzelle Tess is the only emergency for the Empire Rose Stakes and if she gains a late call up will have place claims again after filling the minor placings at her last four starts.