Handicap favours Coolmore hope Francaletta

A drop in weight is a major plus for Francaletta when the quality Kiwi mare runs in Saturday’s Gr.1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained daughter of High Chaparral will carry 52kg after finishing third in the Gr.2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) with three kilograms more in her Australian debut at Randwick earlier this month.

“It was a terrific run in very good company,” Baker said. “The Coolmore is a handicap, which will suit her much better.

“She needs a good draw for a change though. She drew 11 the first time and with two scratchings came into nine and we’ve got Weather With You in at Warwick Farm on Wednesday and he’s drawn the outside.”

The winner of the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) in the spring, he opened his current campaign last month when fifth at Ellerslie under 59kg against the older horses.

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Weather With You will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, who also retains his association with Francaletta at the weekend.

“He’s improved and we’re getting him ready to go over ground, probably in the Rosehill Guineas,” Baker said.

Weather With You is one of a quartet of three-year-olds the stable has in Sydney with Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Vin De Dance, Mission Hill who was sixth in the classic and the dual lower grade winner Mongolian Marshal touching down this morning.

All hold nominations for the A$2 million Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m).

Meanwhile, Saturday’s Gr.1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) winner Saint Emilion will make his next appearance in the central districts, after which a decision will be made whether he heads to Sydney or is reserved for Brisbane.

“He’s going to run in the Awapuni Gold Cup, unfortunately that’s set weights and penalties so it doesn’t suit him as well, but he’s come through Ellerslie very well,” Baker said.