By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Golden Slipper day at Rosehill Gardens.
The rail is out 3m, the track expected to be in the soft/heavy range and the first set to go at 12:30pm.
|Race 1 - 12:30PM TAB BIRTHDAY CARD STAKES (1200 METRES)|
12. Into The Abyss has been aggressively placed here by John Thompson and inclined to take that as a nod to how well this horse is going. The Foxwedge three-year-old has matched it with some very good fillies in her eight start career. She was winless last campaign in four Melbourne runs but was three lengths off Sunlight first up last time in over 1200m before third up finishing 1.45L behind Pohutukawa and on the heels of Madam Rouge. As we’ve discovered this autumn, this crop of three-year-old fillies are very strong and have already proven hard to beat against the older mares. The trials of Into The Abyss are the icing on the cake. They have been outstanding. In the latest she towed the jockey to the line to win from last under a hold. Should tuck in behind the speed from the perfect draw and Damian Lane knows her well.
Dangers: 2. Resin has never been beaten second up. She has only had two attempts but won by a space on both occasions. Her first up run was a beauty behind Winter Bride where the mares smashed the clock running lightning late splits. The pint-sized four-year-old gets conditions made to order, with the wet track suiting. The wide draw looks tricky. Much depends on how 5. Sweet Scandal jumps having missed the start her last two. Kiwi filly Avantage is a Group One winner, having beat Melt in the Sires Produce. Melt hasn’t done much since moving across to Chris Waller. That’s some sort of line but she is no doubt a classy animal having won six from seven. 8. Star Reflection was on the heels of Resin last start and loves the wet. She has again been overlooked by the market. 1. She Knows bounced back last week and is another that loves wet ground.
How to play it: Into The Abyss EACH WAY ($9 TAB Fixed Odds)
Into The Abyss winning a Randwick trial – March 14
|Race 2 - 1:10PM CAMERA HOUSE DARBY MUNRO STAKES (1200 METRES)|
14. Classique Legend’s star is on the rise and he deserves his shot in black type company now, despite this only being his third career start. Led Bridge took the covers off this three-year-old on the Kensington track and he was breathtaking. From outside of the leader he dashed home his last 600m in 32.64s running his last 200m in 10.88s (Punters Intelligence). That is some debut. He backed that up on the same track beating the older horses, albeit a motley crew, by six lengths. Kerrin McEvoy has no choice from the wide draw other than to positive again. He likely finds himself on the shoulder of 5. Jonker, especially now with Yulong January coming out. That’s in an ideal scenario for him. Bookies haven’t missed him but he looks the winner. Keep tracking him.
Dangers: 12. Prophet’s Thumb had the Fireball run to suit but exploded when she out. She had to shove her way clear at the 150m but picked herself back up to dart clear. There doesn’t look to be the same speed up front in this and she has drawn to settle last. Jonker was really brave to finish as close as he did in that same race having led. He strips fitter and there shouldn’t be the same level of pressure. He is better on top of the ground though. 1. Gem Song was on a Randwick Guineas preparation but Kris Lees had to hold him back due a minor leg infection. Instead, he presents here six weeks after winning the Eskimo Prince. No setback is ideal but he is classy.
How to play it: Classique Legend WIN ($1.65 TAB Fixed Odds)
Classique Legend bolting in last start
|Race 3 - 1:45PM IRRESISTIBLE POOLS N E MANION CUP (2400 METRES)|
10. Shraaoh was enormous last start at Randwick putting the writing on the wall for this. The six-year-old was second up from a spell, having done just enough first up over 1500m at Rosehill, and really hit the line late behind Hiyaam who got complete control of the race from the front. Given the way it was run, it was a big effort to get as close as he did. Punters Intelligence highlights that Shraaoh’s last 600m of 33.68s was 2.5L quicker than anything else in this race with a sub 11 split between the 400-200m of 10.93s. The import is bang on target for the Sydney Cup, for which he is currently the second favourite, but is well placed to pick this up on the way through with 53.5kg on his back and out to 2400m. He won at his first start for Chris Waller on a heavy track at Flemington over 2800m.
Dangers: 1. Big Duke broke clear with stablemate Red Cardinal in the Parramatta Cup at his first run for Kris Lees. The latter has since won again but Big Duke didn’t get conditions to suit in his subsequent start. It was behind Hiyaam in the same race as Shraaoh. Not only was it slowly run but it was also on a good deck. With some weight relief here and back onto a wet track, he’ll bounce back. He rarely runs poorly in Sydney. They look the two but 9. Midterm lingers as some sort of threat. He did more than enough first up and was the run of the race in The Metrop when we saw him in Sydney over the spring, launching from the back. The wet won’t trouble him either.
How to play it: Shraaoh WIN ($3 TAB Fixed Odds)
Shraaoh hitting the line last start at Randwick
|Race 4 - 2:25PM SKY RACING ROSEHILL GUINEAS (2000 METRES)|
It’s hard to make a case for anything to beat 1. The Autumn Sun. His win in the Randwick Guineas had to be seen to be believed. The frantic pace up front allowed him to really flatten out late and pick off Fundamentalist on the line but the race looked too far gone for him half way down the straight. He has always profiled like a horse that would relish 2000m so we should really get to see him at his top on Saturday. It’ll give him time to click through his gears. No disrespect to his rivals but there is nothing here that will have him looking over his shoulder as he rounds the home bend. Kerrin McEvoy will know he’ll be the hunted so will need to be on his game from barrier 3 to find clear running, and at the end of the day, that’s all he’ll need.
Dangers: If you were impressed by The Autumn Sun in the Guineas you had to be impressed by 2. Madison County. Punters Intelligence reveals his last 600m of 34.16s was only 1.5L inferior to The Autumn Sun and there was very little between their closing 200m splits (11.51s vs 11.55s). Does that cast some doubt over the dominance of The Autumn Sun or did Madison County jump out of the ground? Madison County ran third, albeit a luckless one, behind Long Leaf in New Zealand. That ties the form in with 9. Dealmaker. Dealmaker beat Long Leaf comfortably in the Australian Guineas and the form out of the race is deep (Mystic Journey, Hawkshot etc). On the topic of bad luck, Dealmaker is one of only two horses to ever beat The Autumn Sun home.
How to play it: 1,2,9 TRIFECTA
The Autumn Sun (and Madison County) in the Randwick Guineas
|Race 5 - 3:05PM THE AGENCY GEORGE RYDER STAKES (1500 METRES)|
This will be nothing more than another exhibition gallop for 4. Winx. She stretched her legs at Rosehill last Saturday between races with Kerrin McEvoy warming the saddle for Hugh Bowman. She ran through the line like a train but didn’t raise a sweat. Expect to see much the same here. There’s no Happy Clapper to chase down, like in the Chipping Norton last start, when for a fleeting moment at the top of the straight punters were left wondering if this could be the day (of which I was one, forgive me). This will be four George Ryder Stakes wins, 31 straight and Group One number 24. She won the 2017 George Ryder Stakes by 7.3L. That winning margin could realistically be under threat.
WINX OUT MARKET: 9. Brutal hasn’t had much go his way in his two runs back this time in. First up he was posted wide and battled on bravely to run third before last start in the Canterbury Stakes he was shuffled back to sixth in the run after rivals on his outside kicked up to take up the running. He hit the line in the manner of a horse looking for this trip. Suspect this means he’ll skip the TJ Smith and instead go the Doncaster path? 1. Land Of Plenty was only a length off Alizee in the Futurity and finished alongside Hartnell. The wet track is some query with him though, with the same to be said for 2. Dreamforce.
How to play it: Brutal WINX OUT ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Brutal’s Canterbury Stakes run was better than it reads on paper
|Race 6 - 3:45PM RANVET STAKES (2000 METRES)|
Can’t find much speed in this race which makes 4. The Taj Mahal a worthy gamble at big odds. As we have come to learn with Lloyd Williams-owned gallopers, they are formidable when they turn up in Sydney. This five-year-old was well beaten in the Australian Cup last start but produced a very similar second up run last time in before winning third up. In his two runs back this autumn he has had Trap For Fools rolling along in front of him which has allowed the backmarkers to sweep into the race. It’s a different set up here as he looks to get control. Expect the international runner 5. He’s Eminent to roll across to keep The Taj Mahal company but they’re unlikely to break any records. Don’t be surprised if Brett Prebble tries to pinch a little break coming into the straight.
Dangers: 2. Avilius is a tricky horse to assess here on the back of a disappointing effort in the Australian Cup as the $1.65 favourite. He was given every possible but didn’t charge through the line like we are used to seeing. He has fallen short at Group One level in his three runs since arriving in Australia. No denying his that is food for thought. If He’s Eminent can recapture his early form he’s a cut above these. He beat Avilius by five lengths in a Group Two in France back in August 2017. His 2018 form wasn’t flash though. 12. Unforgotten won’t have to chase home Winx this time. She is ticking over well but maps to be giving away a big start. Despite getting on in years, want to keep 1. Almandin safe after pulling up with an issue first up. The wetter the better for 10. Danzanzdance.
How to play it: The Taj Mahal EACH WAY ($21 TAB Fixed Odds)
He’s Eminent beating Avilius in France in 2017
|Race 7 - 4:30PM LONGINES GOLDEN SLIPPER (1200 METRES)|
9. Tenley’s biggest asset is her strength through the line. In both starts this time in, with the blinkers applied, the most impressive part about her has been how she has run right through the line. The Pierro Plate and Reisling Stakes weren’t high pressure races either. She gives the impression she’ll relish working home off a hot speed. Punters Intelligence reveals her last 200m in the Pierro Plate ranked third across the entire meeting behind only Winx and Pohutukawa. She isn’t blessed with natural early speed but drawing barrier 6 gives James McDonald the chance to park her somewhere midfield, or perhaps a touch worse, and wind her up. The Medaglia d’Oro filly hasn’t yet ticked the wet track box but the breed generally handle it and the stable are confident she has the action to skip through it. That’s enough for me.
Dangers: 16. Loving Gaby had no luck at all in the Blue Diamond. Have got a query over the depth of that form having seen Athiri and 8. Lankan Star in the Magic Night since but that was just Loving Gaby second ever start after winning so impressively on debut. Still has enormous upside. 5. Cosmic Force has taken huge leaps every time he has raced. Can he improve again off his seven length romp in the Pago Pago? Loves the wet and gets the box seat here from barrier 2. The wetter the track, the stronger his claims are. 2. Microphone is such a professional colt. He maps to be in the right spot and possesses the acceleration to capitalise. The chances of 1. Yes Yes Yes took a hit with the wide draw but he’s too good to dismiss. 11. Anaheed the best roughie for exotics.
How to play it: Tenley WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Tenley destroying her rivals in the Reisling
|Race 8 - 5:10PM OOH!MEDIA GALAXY (1100 METRES)|
They are going to scorch along in this, even with Ball Of Muscle scratched. 6. Graff has been in the finish of the G1 Lightning Stakes and G1 Newmarket in his two runs this autumn. In the Newmarket he found himself exposed in front which saw him travel a touch too keenly. After looming to go past Sunlight, that told late as he faded the last 50m to run fourth. His Everest run last year already told us he was up to the best sprinters in the country. He maps to get the run of the race in this with Brenton Avdulla punching up to trail the hot speed. He was explosive winning over the Rosehill 1100m on a wet track in the San Domenico in the spring. The Star Witness colt looks very dangerously weighted with 52kg on his back, getting 7.5kg off 1. Redzel up the top who faces a task in holding him off late.
Dangers: The plan was to try to get 4. Nature Strip some cover. Will be interesting to see if that changes with Ball Of Muscling coming out. He'll be a work in progress for a while with Chris Waller trying to get him to settle. 3. Pierata was never in the hunt in the Canterbury Stakes first up in a race Trapeze Artist dominated from the front. His closing splits were deceptively strong. Can’t get his Sydney Stakes win out of my head when assessing him here on a wet track. He is well suited. 8. Viridine teased in last year’s Challenge Stakes before failing to deliver in the Galaxy. He comes here off the same lead in but now a gelding he might go on with it.
How to play it: Graff WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Graff winning the San Domenico last year
|Race 9 - 5:45PM E-GROUP SECURITY EPONA STAKES (1900 METRES)|
Despite finishing seventh in the Aspiration last start, 3. All Too Soon is worth another chance. She always faced a task staying at the mile second up, especially back onto a dry deck. Her late drifting price in the market said as much. This is a much more suitable assignment, out to 1900m and on wet ground. Imagine this is has been her autumn grand final all along. Suspect she has returned a genuine staying type and might prove better again out beyond 2000m in time. She wasn’t beaten far by I Am Serious and Dixie Blossoms in the G3 Angst over the spring before giving away impossible starts at her next two starts. She’ll be close enough if good enough here from the inside draw.
Dangers: You could have thrown a blanket over third to eighth in the Aspiration, all of which line up here, so outside of All Too Soon want to respect the Victorians. 8. Semari has had a lovely grounding for this. Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young train this four-year-old mare and she has won two on the trot. That took her record to five wins from 10 starts. There isn’t going to be much between these so the soft draw is key to her chances. Victorians have pinched this race two of the past four years, both Mick Kent-trained. Kent has 12. Jungle Fish this year so has to be considered.
How to play it: All Too Soon WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Forgive All Too Soon’s run in the Aspiration
All the fields, form and replays for Saturday’s Rosehill Gardens meeting