The Group 1 Golden Slipper headlines the meeting but there's four other Group 1s to look forward to on the nine race card! We have Autumn Sun lining up in the Rosehill Guineas, Winx in the George Ryder, the Ranvet, the Galaxy and of course the Golden Slipper itself.
The track is a Heavy 8 with the rail out 3m. Check out our selections for every race on Slipper day and be sure to tune into this weekend's Before You Bet Podcast below!
Best Bet: Race 8 Viridine E/W
Best Value: Race 3 Casterton
Nice race to kick things off but it's a tough one from a betting perspective. Avantage is a NZ Group 1 winner who makes her Australian debut today. She was due to come to Australia in the Spring but she went amiss and therefore comes into this first up from a 26-week spell. She's had the seven career starts for six wins and a 2nd, and that runner-up finish was also in Group 1 company. She's obviously got plenty of ability and she's undefeated from three starts on Soft ground. She's yet to face Heavy ground but you'd think she would handle it. The obvious query is whether she's going to be fit enough to win this first up on a bog track and whether she's going to be better over further, but she's got plenty of class which should take her a long way. At the price I think she's worth backing. Resin is undefeated when second up from a spell. She returned with a good run, beaten less than half-a-length. She won by 3L carrying 59kg second up last prep so expect plenty of improvement. She's won three from four on Soft ground and is placed on Heavy. James McDonald keeps the ride on the Godolphin filly and she looks hard to beat. She Knows went very close on the Heavy 10 track here last week, flashing late to be beaten a narrow margin. The way she finished off suggests she will have no problem with the 1200m trip for the first time. 59kg could be a leveller though. Serene Miss is better suited second up here and down in weight to 54.5kg. She's undefeated second up and undefeated on Soft ground. I think she's the value at double figure odds. I'll be backing Avantage at $4.80 and Serene Miss at $11, saving on Resin at $4.00.
This is a big step up in class for Classique Legend, from midweek BM70 to a Saturday Listed race at just his third career start. But he's pretty good. He absolutely trounced that field last start, despite sitting wide on speed. He's got some obvious queries such as the wide draw and the Heavy ground, but he's capable of overcoming all of that, in my opinion. Gem Song won well first up and should improve significantly second up today. He's undefeated second up and undefeated at both the track and the distance. Bred by Your Song so will love the wet ground. Something notable is the fact James McDonald jumps off Jonker (and probably turned down the ride on Wagner) to ride Military Zone first up for the Snowden stable. He's ridden the horse in both trials and sticks with him for raceday. The horse is undefeated at the distance but is yet to place on wet ground. Interesting to watch the market with him.
This is a complete lottery, as most 2400m races on a Heavy track are! I count five serious winning chances. Big Duke showed he had perhaps returned to his best form when producing an outstanding first up run behind Red Carnival over 1900m. Red Cardinal has gone on to win again so the form looks good. Big Duke then failed last start, but it's not unusual for him to run poorly when second up. Notably, that was on Good ground and he returns to Heavy ground today, where he has a good record. From eight starts on wet tracks, he's won three and placed in a further four. Expecting a big run from him third up today. One Foot In Heaven could go close at big odds. He's won three of his five starts when third up from a spell and is another that appreciates wet ground. From 14 starts on Good ground he's only finished in the money on three occasions, while on wet ground, he's got four wins and four placings from 11 starts. Interestingly, James McDonald sticks with Casterton today, despite the horse finishing last at Randwick last start. He always tends to put in a bad run second up and he also pulled up lame. He's another that improves third up and certainly should improve on wet ground. From 10 starts on Good ground, he's placed three times, while he's had seven starts on wet ground for three wins and two placings. Midterm comes to Sydney for Lloyd Williams and whenever this stable bring them here they tend to perform. He ran well first up over 2000m and gets blinkers on for the first time today. He's yet to win ove 2400m from nine attempts, but he was beaten a nose second up last prep over this trip. Wouldn't discount him. Shraaoh is the well backed favourite as it stands. He improved significantly last start with the run under his belt and the step up to 2000m. He won his Australian debut on Heavy ground over 2600m so the rise in trip again today, as well as the wet track, should see him hard to beat. Even Rodrico can run another bold race - he ran 2nd by the in-form Red Cardinal last week and is yet to finish outside the top two from five starts on Heavy ground. It's a wide-open race so far as I'm concerned; I'd be tempted to have small bets on Big Duke, One Foot In Heaven and Casterton.
Sit back and enjoy the show with The Autumn Sun here. His win last start was nothing short of unbelievable! It was interesting to hear Chris Waller say during the week that he'll be much further forward today than what he has been in his first two starts this prep. The step up to 2000m should really suit him the way he's been racing, and he'll be sharp enough to take up a good position from barrier 3. It's rare to hear Waller so bullish about a horse, both in this race and if he continues to race on in the future. He'll be winning this easily.
There was a large list of nominations for this race but what a terrible field it's ended up being. This is one of the easiest races Winx has had in recent times. Nothing will get near her, especially in the wet. I don't even have an opinion on what might run 2nd so we can have a bet in the 'Winx out' markets. Just sit back and watch her win by 3L under a stranglehold.
Pretty decent field assembled here for the Ranvet! Prepared to give Avilius another chance after his failure in the Australian Cup last start. He started a well-backed $1.65 favourite and travelled into the race beautifully, but once he hit the front he just went backwards. He pulled up with an ulcerated eye, so maybe that had some bearing on his performance. I think if you can forgive him for that, he's worth backing again today at better odds. We're getting $3.70 today so I'll give him another chance. Unforgotten looks very well suited to the race. She comes into this third up and up to 2000m. She failed in her only start on Heavy ground but she pulled up with cardiac arrhythmia. SHe goes tremendously well at Rosehill, with three wins and a 2nd from four starts. Bowman jumps off Avilius to ride her and she looks a definite bet at $6.00. He's Eminent is the most intriguing runner in the race. He was retired and sold with the intention to stand at stud in New Zealand, but they handed him over to Sir Mark Todd, who hasn't trained in 10 years, with the new plan of letting him run in two Group 1s here. His best European form would be well and trully good enough to win this - he smoked Avilius when they last met. But he's first up since August, hasn't shown his best form since he was three, and has never faced a Heavy track. Fascinating runner. Danzdanzdance is a Kiwi mare that's a dual Group 1 winner. She's got a terrific record on wet ground. From eight starts on rain-affected tracks, she's won four and placed in the other four. Last start she ran a narrow 2nd to Melody Belle, who is absolutely flying across the ditch. No surprise to see her measure up here. Egg Tart loves the wet and can go well. Backig both Avilius and Unforgotten with a big watch on He's Eminent.
A few key historical factors to consider here in the Golden Slipper, which could help to separate what looks a hugely competitive field. 31 of the past 36 Slipper winners have finished 1st or 2nd at their most recent start and the last eight winners of the race have come through the Todman Stakes or Reisling Stakes, which were both run two weeks ago. Yes Yes Yes won the Todman Stakes and Tenley won the Reisling Stakes. The filly Tenley ran a slightly quicker time, running the 1200m in 1:08.34, while Yes Yes Yes won in a time of 1:08.40. I'm sticking with the Godolphin filly here, with James McDonald notably taking the ride. No doubt he would have had first pick on the juveniles from Godolphin, so it's no surprise to see him sticking with her. Yes Yes Yes draws the widest barrier, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion. Four of the last five Slipper winners have started from double-digit barriers and with the track likely to be very wet, it could be the best place to be in the straight. Microphone beat Cosmic Force by 1.3L in the Skyline Stakes three weeks ago. Cosmic Reign then came out and absolutely destroyed the field last weekend, winning by 7.3L hard held in the Heavy ground. They both tick a lot of boxes. Exhilarates was good behind Tenley, which was her first run since winning the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast in January. She'll come on from that. Pin Sec was backed off the map to win the Black Opal in Canberra and absolutely bolted in. That wasn't a good field she beat so she would need to produce a PB here but she looks to have plenty of scope to improve. Blue Diamond winner Lyre trialled nicely in Sydney leading into this and she can be competitive.
Going to take a little stab at Viridine here, who looks a decent each way play at $6.50. He resumed as a gelding behind Ball Of Muscle and Redzel and finished off nicely over the 1000m to be beaten just 0.3L. He gets a serious weight swing today, dropping 6.5kg, while Redzel rises 1kg. He's got a very good second up record and also goes particularly well at the track and distance. Drawn well in barrier 4, slight query about the Heavy ground and the reapplication of synthetic hoof filler, but looks a good enough price to interest me. Redzel carries all the weight but he's clearly the best horse in the race. He's won both of his Everest's on Heavy ground so that's not a problem at all. There's a fair bit of speed in the race though, which could set it up for something coming from behind. Nature Strip is another query. He looked to sizzle in his trial but it was much the same of what we've seen from him on raceday. He raced keenly out wide and pulled himself to the front. He's so far proven he can't handle the pressure of fast-run Group 1 races and if he goes too keen again, he'll cook himself again. Pierata was disappointing on face value first up behind Trapeze Artist, but they crawled up front in that race and it was impossible for him to win coming from where he was. He bolted in at his last start on Heavy ground, so I'm wary of him here, especially with his good second up record. They could set it up for him and I'm sure Berry won't have him so far back today. Could be the value in the race at $8.00. Graff next best.
Only one horse really took my eye when I first went through the runners and that was All Too Soon. She's clearly better on rain-affected ground and she's going to get conditions to suit here. She's only placed three times from 10 starts on Good ground, whereas she's placed in seven of her nine starts on Soft ground, including three wins. She ran 2nd in her only start at this track and distance and that was on Good ground. Has won third up, has a good record at Rosehill and looks very well placed. Would have preferred a better jockey booking but I'll take the $6.00 each way nonetheless. Outside of that, nothing really appeals. Domed isn't the worst chance at odds, but I'll happily just stick to backing All Too Soon each way.
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