Thursday, April 03, 2014

Who Will The Slipper Fit?

race 4_finish 1
Earthquake on her way to winning the Reisling Stakes

I missed previewing the races at Rosehill last week, but to catch up, the three Group One races on the cards were won by outsiders – Gordon Lord Byron $21.00 (George Ryder Stakes), Tiger Tees $13.00 (The Galaxy) and Criterion $13.00 (Rosehill Guineas). The heavy track put pay to favourites chances, and it’s likely that results this coming weekend will be similar as the Rosehill track this Saturday will be slow at best.

Three more Group One races are scheduled at Rosehill this Saturday and the feature race is the Golden Slipper Stakes, always an interesting race to watch, it being the richest two year old event in the world.

Also on the card are the Group One BMW for stayers, run over 2400 metres, and the Vinery Stud Stakes a 2000 metres race for three year old fillies. Several interesting Group Two events add to the excitement.

But first I’ll muse on the Golden Slipper, where unbeaten filly Earthquake will be aiming to win the rare Blue Diamond/Golden Slipper double, last won by Sepoy in 2011.  She has drawn barrier 13, considered unlucky by some, as no contender has ever won the Slipper from it. She has also never raced on heavy going, but Overreach who, like Earthquake, was sired by Exceed and Excel, won it last year on a slow track. Earthquake’s greatest rivals appear to be fellow fillies Mossfun, Oakleigh Girl and Bring Me The Maid. Of the colts and geldings, Unencumbered, Ghibellines and Valentia are viable chances. I regard Earthquake as a potentially exceptional filly so I hope she proves me correct.

The BMW appears to be a rerun of the Ranvet Stakes only over an extra 400 metres, with pretty much the same contestants in the field – It’s A Dundeel, Fiorente, Foreteller, Silent Achiever, with the addition of Australian Cup runners Voleuese de Coeurs and Let’s Make Adeal, and several other stayers. Carlton House is not in the field, so perhaps we’ll finally get a good competition down the straight between It’s A Dundeel, Fiorente and Silent Achiever. Who will win? Can It’s A Dundeel finally show how good he really is or can Fiorente redeem his disappointing showing in the Ranvet.

The third Group One is the Vinery Stud Stakes (formerly known as the Storm Queen Stakes) and a full field of fillies has accepted the 2000 metre race.  Top picks are Solicit, Marianne, who finally won a race at her last start after running second four times consecutively, Zanbach who finished second to Kirramossa in the Crown Oaks, and New Zealand fillies, Rising Romance who ran second in the New Zealand Derby and NZ Oaks winner Miss Mossman. The Vinery Stud Stakes is the main lead up race to the AJC Oaks, so it’s worth watching with that race in mind.

Catkins also returns this Saturday in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes. It’s a much easier race than the Coolmore Classic where she finished third. She looks the class act in the Emancipation field. and  also has great wet track form. Her main challengers are Sharnee Rose, Floria and Diamond Drille.

Though I probably will not be attending any more race meetings until early Spring, I will naturally follow the remainder of the Sydney autumn carnival with keen interest.

Update Saturday evening

The results today were nowhere near as shocking as they were last week, with the trifectas of the BMW and Golden Slipper being logically the top three contestants in the race.

A very clever ride by James McDonald on Mossfun denied Earthquake her fifth win, when he slipped through on the inside and stole the Slipper. Earthquake was by no means disgraced, but the heavy going may have slowed her usual acceleration. Bring Me The Maid ran third. Fillies took  the first seven positions, Ghibellines in 8th place being the closest of the colts to finish.

Silent Achiever starred again in the BMW, beating It’s A Dundeel who couldn’t quite catch her at the line. Fiorente ran third.

In the Vinery Stud Stakes, outsider Lucia Valentina beat Solicit with the long odds Forever Loved running third.

And the reliable Catkins easily took out the Emancipation Stakes defeating Sharnee Rose again, with Angel of Mercy filling third spot.

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