Chris Waller has dominated the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes for the past eight years and has opted to run star filly Zougotcha in the race after scratching her from Saturday’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic.
The champion trainer has won six of the past eight editions of the Phar Lap Stakes, utilising the race to catapult his fillies towards Group One glory.
Winx, Foxplay, Unforgotten, Verry Elleegant, Funstar and Hungry Heart have all won the race in recent years.
Unforgotten, Verry Elleegant and Hungry Heart came through the race before going onto win the Group 1 ATC Oaks, while champion mare Winx ran second in the 2015 ATC Oaks.
Zougotcha had drawn barrier 14 for the Coolmore Classic with Kerrin McEvoy engaged to ride, but connections have opted to scratch in favour of the Group 2 at Rosehill.
Early shoppers didn’t miss the opening $2.30 with TAB for the Phar Lap Stakes, quickly backing her into $1.80.
Meanwhile at Flemington, punters have piled into a couple of favourites early on in the card.
Shock ‘Em Ova ($2.50 – $2) and What You Need ($2.30 – $1.80) have been heavily backed in the first two races.
Lightly raced staying prospect Shock ‘Em Ova has won two of four career starts and will tackle his toughest test to date in race one at Flemington.
The four-year-old won both starts in his maiden campaign and rises to a 2000m Benchmark 8- following an eye-catching second behind the in-form Alverdun at The Valley last start.
Race two sees a host of talented three-year-old sprinters converge over 1100m down the Flemington straight and the market has piled into the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained What You Need.
The Supido colt was brilliant bolting in under a hold at Geelong on debut and has been crunched in early betting following a Cranbourne trial win.
Ben Melham, who rode What You Need on debut, sticks aboard from barrier six.