Friday, April 01, 2011

Autumn Racing Carnival 2011 – Golden Slipper Day

Sepoy winning the Blue Diamond Stakes

Alas I didn’t have time last week to write on the races that featured the Rosehill Guineas and two fillies/mares Group One races in Adelaide, not to mention the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night, starring Black Caviar where she didn’t disappoint winning her eleventh race and fourth Group One. I watched/listened to the races on Saturday anyway and I was pleased to see New Zealand raider Jimmy Choux take out the Guineas and Lights of Heaven win the Australasian Oaks.

This Saturday, as mooted in the title, is Golden Slipper day at Rosehill in Sydney. Five Group One races including the Slipper are on the cards. There’s also the Group One WATC Derby at Ascot in Western Australia, so a BIG day of racing to look forward to.

The Group One Queen of the Turf Stakes for fillies and mares over 1500 metres, is the first to be run. A small field of seven runners will be competing , including super mare More Joyous. She’s obviously the one to beat, and it won’t be easy. The best of the others is Melito, followed by the Peter Moody trained Set For Fame , Jersey Lily and Montana Flyer.

The Vinery Stud Stakes is a 2000 metre race for 3 year old fillies. Victorian Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse, who resumed with a win two weeks ago, is the obvious pick for this. Her main danger is Do Ra Mi another from the Peter Moody stable. Throw in Melbourne filly Pinker Pinker and Fibrillation as good chances for a place if not a win.

The Group One races continue with The BMW, a 2400 WFA race for stayers. Veteran Zipping who caused a boilover in the Ranvet Stakes recently, can’t be totally written off, especially if the track is on the slow side. Descarado who came second on that occasion is a top chance as is Linton who ran second to Shocking in the Australian Cup and is a genuine contender though having his first run in Sydney. Maluckyday has been a tad disappointing since resuming after his sterling second in the 2010 Melbourne Cup, running fourth in his two lead up races, but he may suddenly click at the distance and redeem his reputation with a win. This race has an excellent field so is sure to be interesting.

As is the George Ryder Stakes another WFA over 1500 metres. The classy field contains group one winners like Theseo, Danleigh, Rangirangdoo, King Mufhasa, Wall Street, Aloha and Ilovethiscity, the latter two three year olds winning the 2011 Coolmore Classic and the Randwick Guineas respectively. Triple Elegance has great form as well, as does the eternal bridesmaid Dao Dao. It’s an intriguing race where any one of the above could be victorious.

The feature race of the day is the Golden Slipper the richest two year old race in the world. A bog track caused upsets to the two hot favourites Sepoy and Satin Shoes a fortnight ago when they were both beaten. The other hot contender Karuta Queen was also beaten in her last start, leaving the Slipper picture less than crystal clear. It really all depends on the track on Saturday who is the likely winner. If the track is good, Sepoy has to be the one to beat if you were to judge him by his Blue Diamond run. And Satin Shoes and Karuta Queen have to be the best of the fillies, though the vanquishers of Sepoy (Smart Missile) and Satin Shoes (Elite Falls) also have to be in with a chance, along with a couple of smokies from the Bart Cummings stable Salade, Empress Rock and Do You Think, who have all won their one and only starts. As I always say, it’s a two year old race and anything can happen and probably will.

The WATC Derby (2400 metres) is of interest due to the face off between top WA colt Playing God and top WA filly Dreamaway competing against each other for the first time. Haven’t a clue about the rest of the field, but will be interested to see if one of the two above can win.

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