GROUP ONE COOLMORE STUD STAKES
1200m, 3yo set weight, $500,000, Flemington
* Formerly known as Ascot Vale Stakes and upgraded to Group One in 2006.
* The Ascot Vale was first run for three-year-olds with set weights and penalties in 1969 when won by Vain. Before that it was a race for two-year-olds.
* Japonisme scored a shock win last year upsetting heavily fancied Godolphin colt Exosphere.
* Vain (1969), Century (1972), Taj Rossi (1973), Toy Show (1975), Surround (1976), Manikato (1978), Rancher (1982), Campaign King (1985), Zeditave (1988), Weekend Hussler (2007), Sepoy (2011).
THIS YEAR’S FIELD:
* Mick Price-trained Extreme Choice is the favourite after defeating older horses including Chautauqua in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley. Stablemate Flying Artie comes into the race after winning the Group Three Blue Sapphire Stakes.
* Godolphin’s Astern won the Group One Golden Rose at his most recent start and is second pick.
* Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden have Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and the unbeaten Russian Revolution in the race.
* Hawkes Racing-trained Star Turn proved his credentials by beating older horses in the Group Two Schillaci Stakes.
* In 1995 New Zealander Our Maizcay set race record of 1:08.2 which still stands.
* Chris Waller has trained the past three winners – Zoustar, Brazen Beau and Japonisme – but doesn’t have a runner this year.
* Both Capitalist and Star Turn are in the Coolmore after connections decided to bypass the weight-for-age Group One Darley Classic a week later.
* Price has called for the race’s prize money to be raised to reflect the quality of the field, dubbing the race a “Golden Slipper for three-year-olds”.
* More than prize money is up for grabs, with every runner a colt who could significantly enhance their stud value with a win.
* Flemington hosts the only straight-track races in Australia. Fields can sometimes split towards the inside and outside fences.
* “I think that’s what won him a Blue Diamond. That’s what won him a Moir Stakes. And I think that’s what will win him a Coolmore” – Extreme Choice’s trainer Mick Price.
* “No doubt this is the toughest assignment he’s met but he’s going to go there in good order” – Co-trainer Peter Snowden on Russian Revolution
* “I’m really bullish about his chances. I think he’s the best I’ve trained” – Astern’s trainer John O’Shea.