Rosehill Gardens is the place to be on Saturday as the Sydney Autumn Carnival’s showpiece, the Golden Slipper, is run. Read on for a full round-up of the best bets ahead one of the biggest days on the racing calendar.
Anyone who witnessed Sugar Bella’s first-up win had to be impressed; the Kris Lees trained filly was slowly away and was at the back of the field as they turned for home, and many would have been giving up, especially considering they really hadn’t gone that quickly up front.
But, the fact they didn’t go at a breakneck speed, was the exact reason why she was able to get home over the top of them. This girl has a devastating turn of foot, and because she was within a reasonable striking distance when they balanced up for the run home, rather than 10+ lengths off the frontrunners, she was able to be brought to the outside and showcase that burst of acceleration to win in scintillating fashion.
I stated in this column when we tipped her there that the Birthday Card and the Sapphire Stakes look like the perfect targets for her over the Autumn Carnival. Here she is in the first one of those where she has drawn perfectly and is still well in as she rises in grade.
She’s proven on slow surfaces and as long as she jumps with them, I can’t see anything beating her. Sugar Bella is a genuine top shelf mare in the making and it would be no shock to see her win this, the Sapphire and who knows; they may even shoot as high as a Doomben 10,000 this prep, depending on what else targets the Brisbane Winter.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
For a group one sprint, Friday night’s William Reid is a little devoid of genuine early speed. In fact, most of the field are “get back” short course gallopers and it will be interesting to see what tactics get used as some may have to be out of their comfort zone.
I can envisage Thronum leading the race from barrier 3, and although Secret Agenda got a fair way back first up when winning brilliantly, I’d imagine Mick Price will want Damien Oliver to look to cross and sit outside Thronum from barrier 8. She’s a very versatile type and we’ve seen her go forward in six furlong races previously, most notably when leading all the way to win her lone group one in last May’s Robert Sangster Stakes.
She’s really quite an underrated mare; she’s won almost $1.4 million, has multiple group race victories to her name and has won at two, three, four and five. That’s a very rare achievement for any racehorse.
She likes the Valley, will only be better for that first-up run and if they employ the tactics I think they will, she can add a second major to her resume.
He’s not going to ever be a group one horse, but Beau Geste is, at worst, capable of winning black type and I think he’s found himself in a highly suitable race to break through in stakes grade here in the Darby Munro.
He’s won in slow ground, so that’s a good start with the likely track conditions, and some of that form from last spring looks rock solid for a race like this, including the Roman Consul placing behind talented stablemate Viridine and his unlucky close up fourth in the Carbine Club at Flemington.
Beau Geste’s first-up effort against older horses was eye-catching when he flashed up late behind Bolero King at Warwick Farm, as it took him a while to balance up. But when he did he rocketed late.
I Am Excited, the likely favourite here, is a lovely filly whose two wins this time in have been great. But she doesn’t look as well in here compared to those races as she’s getting the same weight as a few of the males including Beau Geste; that might be I am Excited’s undoing and I can envisage Beau Geste being the one to take advantage of that.
The Manion Cup field looks to fall away quite quickly after the top few in the market and of those who look up this level, Lord Fandango jumps out at me as clearly the best galloper in the race without copping a handicap that would hinder him winning it.
Here’s a horse that won a major lead-up to the Cups in the Spring in the Herbert Power, before acquitting himself wonderfully well when fourth in the Caulfield Cup – that type of form is grades above what most of these have either competed at or capable of competing at.
He’s had the four runs back now, all in top class company, and wasn’t far away in the messy Australian Cup. He looked every bit a horse that wants the mile and a half looking at that effort, which in essence is his pet trip, and he really ought to be giving some of his rivals here on the limit closer to seven or eight kilos, rather than the three and half that he has to.
Some question mark with the wet, but as long as it’s not heavy that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. He just appears to be so suited in this and expect that quote to trim up closer to the race.
There’d hardly be a bigger Sunlight fan on the planet than myself. I think she’s in the very top echelon of two-year-olds that I’ve seen in the flesh, spanning about 30 something years of following racing, and I will be sticking with her for the Golden Slipper, rain, hail or shine come Saturday.
Preferably, it’s the latter of those three that occurs in the 24 hours leading into the race. Obviously the wet track is an unknown, as it is with most juveniles – but if it can stay in the Soft 6 range or better, I’ll feel confident she can handle it.
Some wanted to play her last start win in the Magic Night as a “regress” from her Silver Slipper victory; but for me, she went pretty hard early, shook off any challengers (look at where Setsuna finished who sat outside her), and did the last part comfortably under no real pressure. I’ve got no doubt they didn’t do a whole heap with her between the Silver Slipper and the Magic Night, and that will now have her tightened right up for the Grand Final.
She draws perfectly, is trained to the minute, gets a gun run behind a hot speed and when Luke Currie asks her for a supreme effort, and I’m not even convinced that’s actually been asked of her yet, I think we’ll see a filly of the ages step up for her crowning moment.
OVER THE ODDS
the New Zealand Derby was a strangely run race. There was plenty of movement throughout the race, with horses taking off and others being restrained; messy, but still truly run, is the way in which I’d describe it, and I think Mission Hill was one of the horses that sort of got lost in some of the movement around him and ended up in an undesirable position.
I thought he stuck on really well after somehow being seven or eight wide when they straightened for home, and you could argue that the son of Teofilo didn’t quite run out the mile and a half. But I do think he’s a very classy middle distance type in the making and from a nice draw here I can see him getting a good run just off the speed.
We know how lethal the Baker/Forsman combo are when they bring their runners out here, especially the three-year-olds, and he could be the forgotten one of their trio they’ve brought over for this. I love the Damian Lane booking as well and that $17 quote will be getting some of mine.
Leg 1 – 1,2,4,8,9,13,14,15
Leg 2 – 1,3,10
Leg 3 – 1,3,8,10,13
Leg 4 – 3
($100 = 83.33%)
Leg 1 – 1,2,3,4,7,8
Leg 2 – 2
Leg 3 – 6,7,8,9,10
Leg 4 – 2,3,7,8,12,14
($100 = 55.55%)