It’s Golden Slipper Day on Saturday afternoon as the best two-year-olds step out to stake their claim on the $5 million feature. That’s just the start, though, as we have a total of five Group 1 races to sink our teeth into. From the sprinters going around in The Galaxy, to the stayers in The Ranvet, there’s something for all types at Rosehill this weekend and we can’t wait to dive into the form.
The rail is out +2m for the meeting after racing on the surface last week from the true position, and despite the track being listed as a Soft 5, we expect an upgrade the morning the meeting. Racing gets underway at 12:10pm AEDT.
Keep reading for our free race-by-race preview and quaddie selections
RACE 1: MIDWAY BM72 (1500M)
We kick things off with the Midway over the 1500m and we think Artie’s Aura is a nice way bet to get the day underway. The lightly-raced five-year-old came back from a spell first-up in a Provincial-Midway qualifier on February 23 at Kembla Grange and wasn’t disgraced by any stretch. She run into fifth behind Essonne who looks to be flying at the moment, so the form should stack up nicely in this BM72 affair. Artie’s Aura got forced to take inside runs in that race as well, which wasn’t the ideal spot to be turning for home, with a clear advantage for those coming down the middle of the track. She’s drawn to get a nice run from barrier one on Saturday and if Rachel King can get clear running late in the piece, we think she can give the favourite, Strait Acer, a run for his money.
Glory Daze has been going outstanding since arriving in Australian and we think he can make it three wins on the trot for the Ciaran Maher & David Eustace camp. His wins have come at BM78 and BM88 company respectively but were dominant displays of his staying potential for a race like the Manion Cup. His European form jumps off the page when stepping to the 2400m as well, with form behind Westover, Stone Age and Desert Crown all showing quality Group 1 credentials all over the continent. We’re yet to see Glory Daze step into Group level here in Australia, but with three starts under his belt and 54kg on his back, this looks the perfect opportunity to get a stakes win to his name since his arrive. Sir Lucan oozes quality in this field as well, particularly after a first-up romp in the Randwick City Stakes; however, the 4kg swing to go along with a fitness edge, we’ve landed in the corner of Glory Daze on top.
We think Supagirl can make a strong impression on Australian debut in this Epona stakes over the 1900m for the fillies and mares. She’s joined Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott from the Jessica Harrington stable since arriving in Australia and looks to be thriving in her new conditions. She’s had multiple trials leading into this first-up assignment and they’ve all been good enough to suggest she can be competitive in her first Australian start. She gets in with a very light weight of 54kg and she won’t know herself with the weights she had to lug late in her European campaign. She’s got form behind Doncaster St Leger placegetter Haskoy before coming down under and we think that’s a strong case to make her a betting prospect on Saturday. Tim Clark takes the reins on this daughter of Pride Of Dubai and we expect a bold front-running effort from Supagirl to chalk up a win on Australian debut.
The Rosehill Guineas is the first of five Group 1 races on the program on Saturday and is for the three-year-olds. The Randwick Guineas and Australian Guineas are the traditional lead up races and sees many of the gallopers come here from those races. We’ve taken a risk with Ausbred Rising Sun on the each-way basis as our top selection for the race. We couldn’t have him and Pericles that far apart in the market for a 2.8 length margin. They both come out of the Group 2 Autumn Classic at Sandown on February 25 and we thought the way Ausbred Rising Sun powered to the line was impressive. Pericles shot up the inside and put a significant margin on his rivals; however, Ausbred Rising Sun got the back of a horse that was never travelling into the race and was forced into the five and six wide line much earlier than jockey Craig Williams would have liked. He was still very strong throughout the 1800m journey and now looking to the 2000m for the first time, we think this son of Maurice is well over the odds at $19 with online bookmakers. The likes of Elliptical and Manzoice should be key players as well, but with the price on offer, Ausbred Rising Sun goes on top.
Economics goes on top in what looks a very tricky three-year-old contest, there are chances galore all over the page, but we think ridden with cover should see the best of this Annabel Neasham-trained colt. He was forced into a leading position which this son of Capitalist just didn’t seem to appreciate at all, not to mention he was wide for a long period before crossing to the rail. It’s a ride James McDonald would like to have back as to not get posted for the journey; however, that can all change on Saturday with barrier eight in this massive field. It should see Economics get cover and show his blistering best over the sprinting trip. The race doesn’t stop there with some nice chances at bigger prices, but we just couldn’t get away from Economics.
The second Group 1 of the afternoon is the Ranvet Stakes and with Anamoe electing to head the way of the George Ryder Stakes, it leaves a wide-open field of eight gallopers engaged for the staying types. Dubai Honour goes on top though and with the way William Haggas travels his gallopers to Australia, you simply need to be respecting the decision to have him here first-up. He comes here off a 154-day spell and doesn’t have the greatest first-up record, but we saw with Protagonist just last weekend that the Haggas yard can have his gallopers peaking early on Australian arrival. His form reads outstanding in Europe with runs behind the likes of Baaeed and Mostahdaf on the resume and will love the firmer going than what he encounters in Europe. He draws to get a soft run throughout and with Ryan Moore booked to ride, he’s got to be a key winning hope and one of the best bets of the day in this year’s Ranvet Stakes. Montefilia is the one at close to double figure odds we can entertain as well. She was terrific returning in the Chipping Norton Stakes and should only improve.
Anamoe ($1.70) is looking to make it Group 1 win number nine on Saturday afternoon and is the clear market leader in this year’s George Ryder Stakes. Can the likes of Artorius ($7.50), Fangirl ($9) and Osipenko ($15) knock off the ‘Moe’ or will he continue his dominance this season?
We’ve got an epic edition of the Golden Slipper with 16 genuine chances set to line up for the $5,000,000 in prizemoney on offer. The Godolphin blue have three runners engaged and lead the market with Cylinder ($3.50). While Learning To Fly ($6), King’s Gambit ($8) and Little Brose ($11) all have their admirers heading into this two-year-old feature.
The Galaxy is over the 1100m for the sprinters looking for Group 1 glory, as many of the gallopers engaged come from the Oakleigh Plate in Victoria. We’ve landed with a first-up galloper in this race though, as Shades Of Rose resumes from a 154-day spell. She finished her campaign in The Everest and it all came a bit too soon for this daughter of Rubick. She wasn’t disgraced finishing 3.1 lengths off Giga Kick, but it came after a long preparation, and she may have just run her grand final in the Sheraco Stakes a month prior. She comes here with two eye-catching barrier trials, and this has looked like the set play a long way out for the Bjorn Baker yard. You’re getting a great price to find out on the each-way basis, and she goes on top in what looks a cracking edition of The Galaxy.
The Birthday Card Stakes is a terrific finale to the Rosehill program and Palaisipan presents at a nice price. Chris Munce trains this five-year-old mare out of So You Think and has the best form dropping back into Group 3 level. She’s first-up from a 140-day spell after finishing her campaign in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington and had come to the end of a long preparation. Looking back at her best fillies and mares form, you’ll find Nimalee and Shades Of Rose form, one already of Group 1 winner and the other looking to do just that in The Galaxy. Her form jumps off the page and with winning a barrier trial heading into Saturday, she looks a cracking bet to end proceedings at Rosehill. She’s drawn to get a perfect run and we’re hopeful to finish the program with a winner.