Aqua Trained Thoroughbreds' 4-year-old Silent Sedition (AUS) and Cook and Van Buynder's 3-year-old Foxplay (AUS) lead a wide open field of 18 fillies and mares in Saturday's one-mile $1 million Coolmore Legacy Queen of the Turf Stakes (G1) at Royal Randwick for an automatic berth into Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) through the Breeders' Cup Challenge.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be held for the first time at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club near San Diego, California, on November 3-4.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Coolmore Legacy to start in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Breeders' Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program by the Championships' pre-entry deadline of Oct. 23 to receive the rewards.
Silent Sedition, the 9-2 favorite, is a remarkably consistent bay daughter of War Chant, who has finished either first or second in eight of her 10 career starts in stakes races. Trained by Andrew Noble and ridden from post seven by Craig Williams, Silent Sedition comes into the Coolmore Legacy off a Group 1 win in the six furlong, Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes at Moonie Valley on March 24. Two weeks earlier at Rosehill, she was defeated a short head to Heavens Above (AUS) in the 71/2 furlong Coolmore Classic (G1). Silent Sedition was very prominent racing at Caulfield at the beginning of the year as well, finishing second by a head to Prussian Vixen (AUS) in the Bellmane Stakes (G3) at 6 furlongs, and followed up that performance by winning the 7 furlong Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes (G3) as the 9-10 favorite.
Foxplay (6-1), trained by Chris Waller and ridden by Kevin McEvoy from post 10, is returning to the shorter distances this Saturday after a fourth-place finish in the 11/2-mile Vinery Stud Stakes (G1) at Rosehill on March 25, as the 14-5 favorite. A daughter of Foxwedge (AUS), Foxplay won the 7 1/2-furlong Celebrations Phar Lap Stakes (G2) against 3-year-old fillies at Rosehill on March 11. Last September, she scored consecutive sprint stakes wins at Randwick in the 6-furlong Fast and Furious (G2), and in the 7-furlong Tea Rose Stakes (G2). Foxplay opened 2017 at Randwick with a second-place finish to Global Glamour (AUS) in the Light Fingers Stakes (G2) against 3-year-old fillies at 6 furlongs.
Heavens Above (AUS), (8-1), a 5-year-old bay mare by Street Cry (IRE) was the runner-up by two lengths to Azkadellia (NZ) in last year's Coolmore Legacy. Owned by President Bloodstock Pty Limited and trained by Tim Martin, Heavens Above defeated 18 rivals in the Coolmore Classic, including the aforementioned Silent Sedition. It was her third career win in 14 starts. Last September, Silent Sedition won the 6-furlong Sheraco Stakes (G3) at Rosehill and the one mille Aspiration Quality Handicap (G3) at Randwick 13 months ago. She will be ridden by Tye Angland from post 5.
A.S. Osburg's third-choice (7.5-1) Dixie Bottoms (AUS) has scored both of her career wins at Randwick. Trained by Ron Quinton, the 4-year-old bay daughter of Street Sense won the 7-furlong Guy Walter Stakes (G2) by 6 1/2 lengths on February 25, and last October's one- mile TAB Angst Stakes (G3). Sam Clipperton, who rode Dixie Bottoms in her first three career starts, has the mount for Saturday from post 12.