This Saturday is one of the biggest days on the racing calendar. It’s Golden Eagle (1500m) Day as the four-year-olds take centre stage at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse. The quality racing doesn’t end there, with a stacked 10-race program to support the feature event, including the Giga Kick Stakes (1300m) as we get an Everest rematch between Think About It and Private Eye.
The rail is in the true position for the meeting, and although the surface is currently rated a Good 4 at the time of writing, rainfall is predicted for race day, so we’re expecting conditions to downgrade into the Soft range. 2023 Golden Eagle Day is set to get underway at 12:10pm AEDT.
Keep reading for our free race-by-race preview and quaddie selections
Race 1: Class 3 Highway Handicap (1200m)
Bandi’s Boy smashed his rivals in Highway company last Saturday at Randwick and we’re happy to stick with him on the one-week back up. He stormed over the top to score by a length on the wire and gets a 3kg penalty for that victory heading to Rosehill. Hannah Williams takes the reins this time, with the apprentice offsetting that with a 3kg claim. We trust Danny Williams has his gelding firing and can make it back-to-back wins.
Nails Murphy gave a terrific account of himself on Australian debut at Randwick on October 14, with the son of Sioux Nation powered into a third-place finish. He showed enough to suggest the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained three-year-old is worth following second-up in the campaign and should relish the extra 100m on Saturday. Ben Melham hops aboard from barrier four, and with the box seat from the one-one a major possibility, Nails Murphy will prove hard to beat.
Mountain Guest gets the nod in the third event of the afternoon as she comes back in grade after a strong performance in the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) at Randwick. She was a massive price with online bookmakers on that occasion but managed to outrun her quote to finish 2.7 lengths away. Stepping up to the 1900m is much more ideal for the daughter of Tarzino and with BM78 company a manageable assignment, Mountain Guest could be finishing best.
Shohei is one of the better bets on the Rosehill program as she gets set to return from a 217-day spell. She challenged some quality opposition towards the end of her four-year-old campaign, just being nosed out in the Bendigo Gold Bracelet on April 1. The daughter of Mikki Isle seems to be travelling beautifully for the Hawkes team, with two outstanding barrier trials heading into race-day. Jay Ford gets the appointment for Saturday, and if Shohei runs up to her work at home, it should be easy work for the experienced hoop.
Overriding was impressive first-up behind a quality line up at Randwick on October 21. The Nathan Doyle-trained mare ran into Kazou and Commerative who look like progressive types. We are trusting that’s the correct form for a race like this as Overriding showed her scintillating turn-of-foot in a moderately run affair. This appears to be a weaker race on paper, and we’re confident if the four-year-old is ridden to hold a spot by Koby Jennings, Overriding will be too classy.
There’s a massive 20-horse field engaged for the $500,000 Four Pillars Midway (1500m) and is comfortably the most wide-open race on the card. The darts have been thrown and we’ve landed with Epicus on top with moderate confidence. He’s third-up into the preparation after two luckless efforts, with his latest at Randwick on October 21 catching the eye. He was chopped out at a crucial stage by Peace Officer who went on to score by 3.5 lengths on our selection; however, clearly should’ve been much closer with even luck. He’s drawn the carpark in barrier 18 this time, but at least Epicus can stay out of trouble and can expect to be in the finish when the whips are cracking.
Registered as the Winners Stakes, The Giga Kick Stakes is named in honour of the previous year’s Everest winner. There’s $3 million on the line as 2023 Everest rivals Think About It and Private Eye go head-to-head again. We want to make the case for Cascadian on the each-way basis, however, as the three-time Group 1 winner makes his return from a 203-day spell. His profile is better than the market might imply, with his first-up form reading (10:2-1-3), and if the rain does hit Rosehill, his chances will only be bolstered with a record of (23:7-2-4) on wet decks. He’s a well-raced eight-year-old now for the James Cummings barn, and at the price, we’ll take on the favoured pair.
The $10 million Golden Eagle is the headline act this Saturday as the four-year-olds take centre stage at Rosehill. Hawaii Five Oh has been the big firmer with online betting sites and could jump favourite at $4.00. Amelia’s Jewel has been a slight drifter out to $4.20, while Legarto ($8.00) and Obamburumai ($11.00) have had steady support throughout betting. It’s a wide-open affair with chances scattered all over the page in the 2023 Golden Eagle.
Canberra Legend is a firm favourite for the $750,000 Rosehill Gold Cup (2000m) and it’s easy to see why. The James Ferguson-trained galloper brings elite European form to Australia, with his minor placing behind Desert Hero in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes jumping off the page. He was then well-beaten in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on August 23, unable to match motors with Continuous on a testing track. European imports generally perform well in their first run off the float, and we think that trend continues with Canberra Legend.
With Your Blessing can send punters home happy in the final race of the program after an excellent return at Randwick on October 21. He chased gamely after being headed by Dashing Legend and had every right to knock up in the closing stages. He never shirked the task, however, holding a second-place finish one-length away. There’s speed to burn in this final event, so we’ll be hoping Joshua Parr takes With Your Blessings back for cover, getting the last crack at his rivals in the shadows of the post.