Zougotcha heads wide-open Coolmore Classic field

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A strong field of 18 fillies and mares will duke it out for the A$600,000 on offer in Saturday's Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Australia.

Amongst the field are four last-start winners and four Group 1 winners, and with 13 of the 18 runners having a handicap rating of +100, the 2023 edition of the Coolmore looks to be as good as any in previous years.

Online bookmakers are struggling to find a decisive favourite for the 1500m event, with the Flight Stakes winner from the spring, , opening as a +550 market elect with Kerrin McEvoy booked for the ride.

Regular has hopped off Zougotcha in favour of Hinged, who steps back from solid showings behind at weight-for-age level in the Apollo Stakes and then the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes.

Having been denied by the barest of margins in the Group 1 Surround Stakes as Sunshine In Paris snatched victory, Ruthless Dame is back searching for a maiden Group 1 title and has Daniel Gibbons in the saddle.

The Mick Price & -trained Annavisto will make the trip north having easily disposed of her rivals in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes at Flemington on February 18, but the Reliable Man mare – steered by Nash Rawiller – will need to overcome barrier 16 in an attempt to break her Group 1 maiden.

Hope In Your Heart was an eye-catching winner of the Group 2 Stakes and will be looking to follow the likes of Krone (2021), (2020) and Peeping (2016), who all used the Guy Walter as a lead-up run before going on to take out the Coolmore Classic.

Larkspur Run, , More Prophets, Yearning and Mirra Vision are the other runners coming through the traditional lead-up event and will be out to turn the tables on Hope In Your Heart.

Imports Purplepay and Times Square add further to what is a wide-open edition of the Coolmore Classic.

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