The Sydney Autumn Carnival heats up on Saturday with the running of the Golden Slipper along with four other Group 1's on a massive ten-race card at Rosehill.
There are showers predicted throughout the day on Friday but with a clear forecast for Saturday we should expect a track in the range of a Good 4.
Here's a breakdown of the feature races of the day, and horse-by-horse analysis of the 2016 Golden Slipper thanks to our horse racing guru @Tim_Tips.
WFA Group 1 over 2000m here with a very competitive field despite only 9 runners.
Criterion is set to improve sharply on his poor showing first up over 1300m. Steps straight up to 2000m and he's a Group 1 winner already over this track and distance so expect him to go very well here.
Dibayani finished 2nd to Winx over 1600m last start which is very strong form but he was the only other horse suited to 1600m in that field so he faces a tougher task taking on seasoned 2000m horses. He can go well from barrier 1 though.
Hauraki comes out of the same race and his two runs back from a spell have both been very good. He's another Group 1 winner over the course and distance but not at WFA level so this is another step up for him.
The United States will appreciate getting out to 2000m and is set to peak 3rd up from a spell, while Storm The Stars has a lot of ability and can improve sharply at his 2nd Australian start.
4th THE UNITED STATES
Turn Me Loose won his 2nd Australian Group 1 last start in the Futurity Stakes and there is plenty more to come from him. The 1500m is perfect for him so he should be somewhere in the finish.
First Seal has made a great return to racing and takes the step up to 1500m here. She's drawn to get a perfect run from barrier 5 and she should be very competitive once again.
Press Statement is the only three-year-old in the race so he gets the weight relief - he had some excuses last start in the Randwick Guineas but was entitled to get past Le Romain. He'll get the gun run from barrier one but he's got a big job ahead of him to get past the more established Winx who carries only 1kg more than him. She's returned in super order and has won both starts this prep with plenty in hand. No reason she can't win again with authority here.
Kermadec could be the blowout after returning with a fine 3rd first up from a spell.
2nd PRESS STATEMENT
3rd TURN ME LOOSE
4th FIRST SEAL
Tarzino has returned with two huge runs this prep and he looks incredibly hard to beat here with the step up to 2000m. Only went down by a nose to Palentino in the Australian Guineas and his best is clearly over further than the 1600m he ran that day. Looks ready to win.
Le Romain scored a surprise win over Press Statement in the Randwick Guineas last start and we know the form will be strong. Takes on 2000m for the first time which is a little query but he's racing in fantastic form and can't be dismissed. Montaigne comes out of the same race and was held up at crucial stages so he should have finished much closer. He also tackles 2000m for the first time and at only his 6th start that may be a query but he's one to include at odds.
Jameka will relish the step up to 2000m and gets weight relief under the race conditions so she's not without a chance, while Vanbrugh should have finished closer in the Australian Guineas and is already a Group 1 winner over this distance.
3rd LE ROMAIN
EXTREME CHOICE: Extremely impressive in each of his three starts to date. Traveled four-wide the entire Blue Diamond and still had plenty in hand at the end. First time in Sydney is the obvious query but the good draw gives him every chance of giving them a belting again.
FLYING ARTIE: Didn't have much luck in the Blue Diamond where he got bumped about ten-wide on the turn. Much better draw will allow him to settle much closer to the speed here which gives him a great chance of turning the tables on the stablemate.
DEFCON: Big win in Canberra last start where he came from last on the turn to win. Wide draw means he will go back again and that might mean he has to give them too big a start.
KISS AND MAKE UP: Surprise win over Defcon last start which threw her right into contention here. She'll be looking to be up on speed from barrier 9 but I have doubts whether she can hold out the Price pair and Capitalist again.
ASTERN: Good colt that has won 2 from 2 coming into this. They've got a big opinion of him but drawing the carpark doesn't help his chances.
STAR TURN: Had a few minor excuses in the Blue Diamond but he was beaten comprehensively and the first two had their own excuses so it's hard to see him turning the tables here.
CAPITALIST: Shock defeat at the hands of Kiss And Make Up last start. I think we will see him bounce back to his best here and if he produces that he could very well win. Good odds about him now.
GOOD STANDING: James Cummings has a very high opinion of this horse and rightly so after returning in impressive fashion when winning the Skyline first up from a spell. Bowman booked for the ride and he is one to include.
TELEPRION: Blinkers on for the first time here. Well beaten by Good Standing in the Skyline so it's hard to see him as a winning chance in this.
FRENCH FERN: Won her past two starts including the Riesling last start but that was over Quick Feet who I wouldn't consider a strong chance in this so she would need to improve once more to feature.
SCARLET RAIN: Three from three so far and she's done nothing to suggest she can't be competitive here. Looks like she will try to speed across from barrier 16 in search of the lead but that might use up a bit of her energy. Each way.
CALLIOPE: Returned to the winners circle last start in the Magic Night. Draws horribly and looks to be Godolphin's third stringer so happy to ignore her.
YANKEE ROSE: Looks huge odds to me at 33/1. Two from two so far and has wins over Teleprion and Good Standing. Comes into this fresh from a spell. Draws well and has Zac Purton on board which is a strong booking. Two trials coming into this and blinkers on for the first time. Good odds.
SWEET SHERRY: Comfortably beaten in the Blue Diamond and hard to see her featuring in the finish here. Outclassed.
HONESTY PREVAILS: Surprise defeat last start when resuming from a spell but did pull up with poor post race recovery. If you go off her debut win then she is certainly one to include from the good draw.
QUICK FEET: Comfortably beaten two starts back in the Diamond Prelude but bounced back with a nice 2nd last start. Got a bit to do if she wants to be competitive here but draws the rail and has blinkers on first time.
MOQUEEN: Still a maiden and despite not being far away at both her starts so far she would need to improve quite a bit to win this.
Hard to ignore the Price pair Extreme Choice and Flying Artie who realistically could run the quinella here too. Both draw well and should get absolutely every chance to win. If Capitalist bounces back to his best he could very well win this and at 9/1 he looks a good bet. Kiss And Make Up has obvious claims after defeating Capitalist last start, while Yankee Rose looks the forgotten horse. Good Standing another one to include.
2nd EXTREME CHOICE
3rd FLYING ARTIE
4th YANKEE ROSE
I still maintain Terravista should and would have won the Lightning Stakes if Oliver didn't fumble his whip at a crucial stage. He missed the Newmarket due to a hoof problem but it must have been very minor for him to be ready to go this week. Has to carry top weight but is the proven class galloper in the field.
Shiraz returned with a fine effort to run 4th, beaten a length behind English first up. He has a fantastic record at the track and distance and won't mind the sting out of the ground.
Fell Swoop should have won the Oakleigh Plate which suggests he is a genuine Group 1 horse this prep. Two from Two at this track and down to 52.5kg, he is very capable of winning this 2nd up.
English returned with a blistering performance to win the Challenge Stakes first up from a long spell. She didn't have much luck but when she got the split she accelerate in tremendous style. Down on 51kg she is definitely the one to beat despite the wide barrier.
Lumosty, Bounding, Lord Of The Sky and Boss Lane others to consider in a strong race.
2nd FELL SWOOP
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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