Friday, April 06, 2012

Autumn Racing – Golden Slipper 2012

pinker-pinker_cox plate
RIP Pinker Pinker – died on Wednesday after an adverse reaction to medication

On Wednesday when I started writing this post, I was going to place a photo of Samaready at the top, but when I learned the shocking news of Pinker Pinker’s death, I changed it to honour the Cox Plate heroine. Pinker Pinker was scheduled to run in the Group One Queen of the Turf Stakes this coming Saturday at Rosehill, and her presence in the race would have lent additional quality to the field that includes More Joyous, Hurtle Myrtle, King’s Rose and Coolmore Classic winner Ofcourseican. 

Pinker Pinker, in her short career, had 18 starts for 6 wins and 5 places, many at Group level, and of course she won the Cox Plate last year. It’s very sad to read of her death; she was one of the best mares racing currently in Australia, so will be greatly missed . My condolences to her connections who must be devastated by her sudden death.

Back to the Rosehill meeting…

There are a total of five Group One races this coming Saturday, the feature race being the Golden Slipper Stakes, the richest race for two year olds in the world, run over 1200 metres.  This year’s field has 16 acceptances, with equal number fillies and colts (or geldings). Samaready is the short priced favourite as she has yet to be beaten, and judging by the way she won the Blue Diamond on a stinking hot day, she’s a tough filly. The Rosehill track this Saturday will most likely be good to firm, for a change, so the running will be true without heavy track considerations.  Top colts  Pierro, Raceway, Ashokan and Epaulette, and fillies, Driefontein, No Looking Back and Jade Marauder represent the biggest threat to the favourite.  Fillies ran the trifecta in the Blue Diamond Stakes, and could well do so again.

Before the Golden Slipper is run, there are three super Group One races on the cards, the first being Race 3, the Vinery Stud Stakes for three year old fillies, run over 2000 metres. How exciting it will be to witness top fillies Mosheen and Streama going head to head.

The BMW for stayers run over 2400 metres, has a small but select field of top stayers, Manighar and Americain most notably. In the Australia Cup, Manighar took home the bikkies, relegating Americain to third place behind Southern Speed. Americain may very well turn the tables in the BMW, having French Jockey Gerard Mosse back in the saddle. There was some criticism of Steven Arnold’s ride on Americain in the Australia Cup, so having Mosse back on board augers well for his chances. Southern Speed and Scarlett Lady are the two representatives of the female gender in the race, I doubt if they can beat the two imports, but could easily run a place. 

The Group One Queen of the Turf Stakes (1500 metres) for fillies and mares has the aforementioned classy mares More Joyous, King’s Rose etc. More Joyous showed she was back to her best with a win in the Canterbury Stakes a fortnight ago, so she is obviously the one to beat. However, King’s Rose has a very good chance and is a very talented galloper and you can’t discount Ofcourseican, judging by her Coolmore run.  Hurtle Myrtle (wonderful name) beat More Joyous in the Myer Classic in the spring, and could surprise us all again. It’s also good to see former star filly Lights Of Heaven back racing. After an excellent three year old autumn season, wherein she won the South Australian Oaks, beating Absolutely and Southern Speed, she failed in the spring against open company, and was sent for a long break. It’ll be interesting to see how she goes in this race.

The final Group One of the day is the George Ryder Stakes, a standard WFA race over 1500 metres. It has a super field with many chances. New Zealand champion King Mufhasa is back in this, and is one of the top chances.  Ignore him at your peril. Rangirandoo, was only beaten a half head by Manighar in the Ranvet Stakes, so will be most likely in the finish again. And it’s really good to see Metal Bender back on track and not hopeless; he ran third to More Joyous in the Canterbury Stakes, so is showing signs of his former brilliance.  Then there’s Woorim, Albert The Fat, Sincero, Monton who all have the talent to win, Niagara (who won last Saturday and will probably start favourite) and the other New Zealander, He’s Remarkable who is very classy may cause an upset. Sole mare Secret Admirer is class itself ; she was only beaten a head in the Coolmore Classic so may figure in the finish. It looks a very interesting race indeed.

Last week Laser Hawk won the Rosehill Guineas, and the only Aussie horse to win in Dubai was the speed queen Ortensia, the rest – Sepoy, Helmet & So You Think failed to run a place. And All Too Hard had an easy win in the Pago Pago Stakes. He was nominated for the Golden Slipper, but his connections have opted to run him next week in the Group One Sires Produce Stakes, so as not to overtax him.  A wise move, in my opinion.

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