|What||Golden Eagle 2021|
|Where||Rosehill Gardens – James Ruse Drive, Rosehill NSW 2142|
|When||Saturday, October 30 | 4:50pm AEDT | Race 7|
|Conditions||Four-Year-Olds | Set Weights|
|2020 Winner||Colette (6) | Trainer: James Cummings | Jockey: Koby Jennings (55.5kg)|
A capacity field of 18 four-year-olds (with four emergencies on standby) are set to take their place in the third edition of the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday. HorseBetting’s New South Wales racing analyst brings you his runner-by-runner guide and $100 betting strategy for the 1500m feature. Toorak Handicap winner I’m Thunderstruck will start as a $4.20 favourite, while Epsom Handicap winner Private Eye ($7) and Queensland runner Apache Chase ($8.50) are the other two in single figures. Apache Chase looks the likely leader, although Vangelic, Love Tap and Ellsberg also tend to race in a forward position. I’m Thuderstruck and Private Eye will be swooping late.
1. PRIVATE EYE (17)
4yo G | T: Joseph Pride | J: Nash Rawiller (57.5kg)
Private Eye has been one of the more fancied runners for the Golden Eagle for quite a while now, with the Epsom Handicap winner having won eight of his 13 career starts. The Jospeh Pride-trained gelding has drifted out to $7 since the final field was announced after drawing wide in gate 17. The son of Al Maher comes into this 1500m event on the back of a four-week freshen up, which should suit given he has two wins from four first-up attempts. Nash Rawiller takes over from the suspended Regan Bayliss, and given the lack of options from the wide gate, Private Eye will settle in the second half of the field and look to circle them like he did in his emphatic Epsom win a month ago. He has the class, that’s for sure.
2. I’M THUNDERSTRUCK (10)
4yo G | T: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr | J: Hugh Bowman (57.5kg)
Coming off a dominant win in the Toorak Handicap, the Price & Kent-trained I’m Thunderstruck will start as favourite in this race after drawing kindly in gate 10. The son of Shocking has only had eight starts, winning five and placing third twice, with a Group 1 win already under his belt. The flashy bay gelding has always raced with spaces between his runs, so the three weeks from his Toorak win into the Golden Eagle should be an ideal setup for him. Hugh Bowman will partner I’m Thunderstruck from gate 10 and look to be storming home late. He has the most untapped ability of the field, in our view, which makes him very hard to beat as he looks to make it two from two at the 1500m trip.
3. AEGON (20)
4yo G | T: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman | J: Jason Collett (57.5kg)
This New Zealand-based son of Sacred Falls came to Australia in the autumn as an unbeaten four-year-old and quickly added to that tally with a dominant win in the Hobartville Stakes. After that, however, Aegon was lacklustre in the Randwick Guineas when favourite and in the Doncaster Handicap, which brought and end to his autumn campaign. The Baker & Forsman team sent the four-year-old to Melbourne for his two runs to start his campaign, where he finished a slashing fourth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes when first-up and then loomed as the winner in the Makybe Diva Stakes but stopped quickly in the straight. He returned to the mounting yard after the Makybe Diva with blood in one nostril, so he can be forgiven for that. He has the class and should enjoy the genuinely run 1500m race, but gate 20 makes it hard.
4. APACHE CHASE (6)
4yo G | T: Desleigh Forster | J: Jim Byrne (57.5kg)
The Queenslanders have been dominating interstate this spring, with Incentivise the favourite for the Melbourne Cup after winning the Caulfield Cup and Jonker taking out the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night, so Desleigh Forster’s Apache Chase will be out to add to that list. The son of Better Than Ready makes his own luck out in front, as we saw in his Group 3 Fred Best Classic win at Eagle Farm where he defeated Ayrton and Amish Boy over 1400m. At the start before that, Apache Chase was only run down very late in the Queensland Guineas by Private Eye over 1600m, so the 1500m will be more to his liking. His regular rider, Jim Byrne, has made the trip down to Sydney to retain the ride, which is a big push, and barrier six is perfect for this front-running gelding. It will be a game of ‘catch me if you can’.
5. AYSAR (15)
4yo H | T: Ben & JD Hayes | J: Jay Ford (57.5kg)
Aysar promised a fair bit early on in his career, winning two of his first four starts, before going on to place second in the Caulfield Guineas, Carbine Club Stakes, Manfred Stakes and C.S. Hayes Stakes at his next four starts, but he hasn’t really fired a shot this time in. In saying that, the son of Deep Field did run fourth in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes two starts ago, finishing one length off the winner and only 0.4 of a length behind I’m Thunderstruck. It is awkward from barrier 15, though, and we aren’t sure he knows how to win.
6. AIM (14)
4yo G | T: Peter & Paul Snowden | J: Andrew Adkins (57.5kg)
Aim is one runner who is nearly impossible to catch. The son of Star Witness has won four races at an average starting price of $21, amassing over $1.6 million in prizemoney for his owners. He was a brilliant winner of the Silver Eagle in his sole lead-up run over 1300m at Randwick three weeks ago, so he has to be respected. The Snowden stable has started to find form in the back-end of the spring, and this horse will relish a hot tempo to chase. Barrier 14 is sticky, but he will get back anyway and be steaming home. The forgotten horse again? The $34 might be worth something each way.
7. AMISH BOY (11)
4yo H | T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace | J: Kathy O’Hara (57.5kg)
Amish Boy is the horse you hate to back but would love to own. After 19 starts, the four-year-old has just one win to his name, nine minor placings and is only $60,000 in prizemoney away from having earnt $1 million. While the son of Star Witness has not won since a 2YO race at Morphettville last March, he has been in and around the money in some quality races, including a second to The Everest runner-up Masked Crusader in his first-up run on August 28. Amish Boy has only had two runs beyond 1400m, running third in the Mornington Sires’ Produce at 1500m and finishing midfield in last year’s Caulfield Guineas over 1600m, so the distance should not be a query. You have to question his will to win, though.
8. EXOBOOM (12)
4yo G | T: Peter & Paul Snowden | J: Lee Magorrian (57.5kg)
Exoboom returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since May with a good victory in the Filante Handicap last weekend at Randwick over 1400m. The son of Exosphere has shown plenty of ability in his 12 career starts, so it was pleasing to see him back to winning ways. The gelding will need to go to another level again if he is to be competitive in this, but he has shown ability and has hit his straps at the right time.
9. ELLSBERG (1)
4yo H | T: Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou | J: Joshua Parr (57.5kg)
Ellsberg has got some quality form in Listed and Group 3 races, but he has yet to take his racing to the next level, despite winning four of his 11 starts and finishing in the minor money on six other occasions. The Ryan & Alexiou-trained entire was a tough winner first-up before getting run down late by Aim in the Silver Eagle when a well-backed favourite. Drawn in the inside alley under Josh Parr, the four-year-old will use his rails advantage to settle in the first three or four, but he has to be a slight query at 1500m in this class. Not today.
10. LOVE TAP (3)
4yo G | T: Richard & Michael Freedman | J: Robbie Dolan (57.5kg)
Love Tap was unbeaten after his first four career starts, including a win in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes 12 months ago over 1800m, but he was unable to make it five when finishing fourth in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes. The big grey had one start in the autumn, finishing seventh at Doomben in a 3YO Plate, before coming back in the spring with an average 10th-placed effort first-up, followed by a dominant 1.3-length win at Kembla Grange, albeit in a Benchmark 78. His last-start fourth in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes was good enough to say he is back to his best, and with a good alley here in three, he can settle closer and be in it for a long way. He is another smokey in this field.
Count De Rupee
11. COUNT DE RUPEE (4)
4yo G | T: Robert & Luke Price | J: Brock Ryan (a) (57.5kg)
There are no certainties in racing, but we are prepared to say Count De Rupee was a good thing beaten in the Silver Eagle last time out. The Robert & Luke Price-trained gelding was done 0.6 of a length in that race by Aim, although he was put sideways in the straight after a horse broke down and forced a number of runners to shift out. While that ultimately cost him the race, Count De Rupee still picked himself up really well to knuckle down to the task late. The 1500m is going to suit him down to the ground, and with the hot speed on paper, he will be relishing the bunny to chase early on. He is right in this.
Law Of Indices
12. LAW OF INDICES (19)
4yo H | T: Annabel Neasham | J: Tommy Berry (56.5kg)
The first of three international runners in this field is Annabel Neasham’s Law Of Indices. While he is four here in Australia, like fellow imports Maximal and Reve De Vol, he is a Northern Hemisphere three-year-old, so he gets a 1kg allowance on our four-year-olds in this race. The son of Power was a Group 1 winner two starts ago over 1400m, defeating Thunder Moon, but was lacklustre in his last start in a Group 1 race. The wide alley makes it hard.
13. MAXIMAL (22)
4yo H | T: John O’Shea | J: Alysha Collett (56.5kg)
While Law Of Indices’ European form isn’t that crash-hot, Maximal’s is, in our opinion. The son of Galileo has been in the winner’s stall only once, but he has been runner-up on five occasions, with second-placed efforts to Hurricane Lane and Baaeed showing some serious form. There was one-way traffic in the betting for this horse early in the week, firming from $15 into $9, but since drawing the carpark (22), he has been easy and got back out to $12 – which, to be frank, is more appealing. Maximal is probably going to be better at 2000m, but his form is good enough to be right in the finish if Alysha Collett can find cover early from the outside alley.
Reve De Vol
14. REVE DE VOL (7)
4yo G | T: Annabel Neasham | J: Brodie Loy (56.5kg)
Reve De Vol is the third of three internationals in the field and probably is the lesser credentialed of the trio, which makes him hard to have. The son of Siyouni was a Listed winner over 2000m three starts ago, and his two runs since have been over 2400m and 2000m respectively, so the 1500m could be a bit sharp for him. In saying that, barrier seven is the perfect draw, and with a decent tempo engaged, he can be finishing strongly late. Watch for his best work in the final stages.
15. FORBIDDEN LOVE (16)
4yo M | T: Richard & Michael Freedman | J: Jean Van Overmeire (55.5kg)
The first of four mares in this year’s Golden Eagle is Group 1 winner Forbidden Love. The daughter of All Too Hard finished third in the Empire Rose Stakes as a three-year-old filly on this day 12 months ago and then won the Surround Stakes in February at Group 1 level, which suggests she is a top mare. She hasn‘t won since then, but she ran a slashing third in The Invitation, showing she’s on track. Barrier 16 makes it hard, though.
16. VANGELIC (5)
4yo M | T: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott | J: Tim Clark (55.5kg)
While Count De Rupee was forced to shift sidewards in the Silver Eagle, Vangelic was quite literally carted out of the race after settling behind the horse who went amiss, finishing 14 lengths off the winner. She bounced back in The Invitation, leading most of the way and running fifth in the end, proving she wasn’t knocked around in the start prior too much. Drawn well in gate five, Tim Clark will take the Waterhouse & Bott-trained mare to the front and look to control the race again to give her the best winning chance. The daughter of Vancouver was a winner at Rosehill against the older mares third-up over 1400m; it’s just whether or not she can beat some of the more proven boys, all while trying to lead on a decent tempo.
17. MEDIA AWARD (9)
4yo M | T: Chris Calthorpe | J: Jack Martin (55.5kg)
Also on the seven-day backup from The Invitation is the 2021 Australasian Oaks winner, Media Award. The daughter of Shamus Award was a four-length winner at Kyneton over 1500m in March en route to her Group 1 victory, so the distance will be no issue, and it is obviously a fair push by connections to have a throw at the stumps in a race like this, but we cannot have her. She made no impact on the field in last Saturday’s race, and we expect nothing more here.
18. ATISHU (18)
4yo M | T: Chris Waller | J: Glyn Schofield (55.5kg)
Despite being Australia’s premier trainer, Chris Waller only has one runner in the final field (he does have three of the four emergencies) with his mare Atishu. The former New Zealand mare has had four Australian starts, winning her first race on our shores, before running fourth in a Benchmark race and then winning the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap to gain a start the Epsom Handicap, where she ran sixth. The daughter of Savabeel will be appreciative of a good tempo, and her 1.8-length defeat in one of Australia’s premier handicap races should put her right in the finish if she gets a decent run from barrier 18.
2021 Golden Eagle emergencies
19EM1. KIKU (21)
4yo M | T: Chris Waller | J: TBA (55.5kg)
Zoustar mare Kiku was pretty stiff to miss a spot in the final field given she is a four-time winner, and the Star Thoroughbreds team will be hoping for one of the 18 above them comes out. Coming off a last-start third to Mirra Vision in the Group 3 Angst Stakes, the mare would be likely peaking third-up at 1500m if she was to gain a start. Can’t win from out there, though.
20EM2. OUR PLAYBOY (2)
4yo G | T: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr | J: TBA (57.5kg)
Our Playboy was one of the more impressive winners over the Queensland Winter Carnival, winning the Group 3 Winx Guineas (1400m) by six lengths at the Sunshine Coast on a Soft 6. The son of Sebring has won four races, but they have all been on rain-affected going, so he would need the heavens to open for him to figure in the finish.
21EM3. WHEELHOUSE (13)
4yo G | T: Chris Waller | J: TBA (57.5kg)
Chris Waller’s Wheelhouse ran fourth and fifth respectively in the Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas during the autumn and was then beaten nine lengths in the Doncaster, which reads reasonably well, but his two runs since have not been good enough. He would need a lot to go right.
22EM4. BLONDEAU (8)
4yo G | T: Chris Waller | J: TBA (57.5kg)
Blondeau rarely runs a bad race, having won four from 20, and placing in a further eight races, so we are confident he would hold his own in this field. The son of I Am Invincible has been unlucky in his three most recent runs, which is probably what cost him a spot in the top 18, so it is unfortunate he is unlikely to get a start. Drawn well in eight, he would be in the finish.
Best bets for 2021 Golden Eagle
It is very hard to go past I’m Thunderstruck after his brilliant win in the Toorak, but we are going to shop around a bit and look for some value in the big field. Both Aim and Count De Rupee come out of the Silver Eagle and are big odds considering how well they went. Like we said, Aim is hard to catch, but we are getting $41 with online bookmakers to find out. Queenslander Apache Chase will make his own luck from in front, while Private Eye cannot be overlooked.
|$100 betting strategy|
|$30 each way||Aim|
|$20 each way||Count De Rupee|