Spring racing sparks up this weekend with Group 1 racing in Sydney and Melbourne, supported by some massive fields packed with horses planning big things later in the carnival.
The first slipper I witnessed ‘live’ was George Moore winning TJ Smith’s first Golden Slipper on Fairy Walk in 1971.
Somehow, from that magical day, I managed to be on course to see every Slipper finishing the run with Flying Spur’s defeat of Octagonal in 1995. I even remember when they introduced the Slipper day anthem, ‘Oh those Golden Slippers’. Wonder if they still play it.
Enough reminiscing, on with the important stuff.
Generally speaking, as a gambler, the day has been kind to me. Who knows this year? Wet tracks are treacherous things but even with that caveat, there may be a faint flicker of hope. It is a good card and below are some thoughts on the day’s racing for your consideration.
The Godolphin mare Resin could start the ‘blue’ off to a big day. She is well placed The good New Zealand filly Advantage appears the danger. Both run in the wet and my numbers are giving them an edge over the solid performer She Knows.
This race looks Gem Song’s race to lose but I’ll probably stay out. There are a few very promising types in the race but not enough for them to get my vote on the affected ground.
A real good exotics race here. Put on your thinking caps as I’m inclined to keep this one to myself.
The Autumn Sun meets a strong test here. These N’Zed three-year-olds are a nice lot. Well performed and most are good in the going as is the Waller three-year-old.
I would not be surprised to see a very testing pace. Then we will see how much Galileo-blood is following through the budding champ’s arteries. Another watch and learn (and enjoy) race for me.
Never get tired of watching good horses…there are so many slow ones.
We get to enjoy the world’s best racehorse in her penultimate race. Her performances this preparation have been scary. Chris Waller and Hugh Bowman have been saying they think she is now at the top of her game.
She is, no doubt about it. The numbers Winx is returning me are as good as ever. Expect a show.
A European friend suggested to me that no horse in the world could beat Cracksman over a middle distance on soft ground after his dominant Champions Stakes win last year. I replied, ‘I thought an ageing Australian mare would beat him on any ground, in any field, on any racetrack, anywhere in the world’. Cracksman is a great horse but how could they rate a wet-tracker on equal terms with Winx?
Just comic, absolutely comic.
Of the others, you would think that Prompt Response and Land of Plenty are thereabouts for the lesser slots. And we should get another line on Brutal clashing with Ringerdingding. Team Hawkes have kept the faith with Brutal and for them to put in this race is a testament in itself.
I like this race. Avilius against The Taj Mahal, who should be ready to play at last and the N’Zed raider Danzdanzdance. They, along with the Berkshire visitor, will square off in a good renewal of the Ranvet. Throw in Waller’s mares and the Tancred prelude is a top race.
We didn’t see the best of Danzdanzdance when she visited last Autumn and maybe she isn’t a good traveller? We are going to find out.
English visitor (He’s) Eminent will have to perform to his best mark to get away with this. He has really solid ‘beaten-form’ around some of the best Euro horses including a victory over Avilius in a French Group 2. I’m inclined to think the Godolphin horse has improved since his arrival in Australia and won’t be holding too many fears about the rematch.
As I mentioned in my comment on Cam Rose’s Golden Slipper Day preview article, I’m happy to be playing two of the Godolphin horses in the world’s richest and most competitive two-year-old race. My wishful thinking and a little analysis gives Tenley the edge over Microphone and for my money but I’ll be backing them both.
The exotics always pay in this race and on a wet track we can usually count on a surprise somewhere. Regular contributor Nathan Absalom commented on Cam Rose’s article that Pin Sec could be the bear in the honey pot.
And I don’t have a problem with that as Nathan pointed out that the Black Opal is a ‘good horse’s race’. But my surprise chance is Free of Debt. The South Australian is going to make a horse with a bit of maturity.
Well, it has been a long wait but we are finally here. I like the Greg Hickman-trained Pierata. I thought her first-up effort was excellent. In my book, Redzel and Graff are the horses to beat but Pierata is in with the last shot at this blistering speed, wet track or not.
I don’t think Nature Strip will get an easy run and I’m of the opinion he doesn’t like being pestered and may very well quit again if harassed before the turn. The wonderful Ball of Muscle hasn’t performed at his best on wet ground for years, but he is such a competitor…‘woe betide the faint-hearted’ in this renewal of the Galaxy.
Redzel will either run you a 118 or 114. A rating of a 118 will get him home and 114 will keep him in the winner’s mix. Graff has been excellent this campaign and this contest determines whether he is a TJ Smith Stakes contender. Good race.
A tough race to finish the day with plenty of chances; I’m a Princess, Girl Tuesday, Semari, Domed, Futooh but I’m liking the David Payne-trained All Too Soon. I’ve been waiting for this mare to get to this trip and while she is probably at her mark the ‘Set Weights and Penalties’ conditions of the race give her a length or so advantage.
I’m expecting a solid run from Domed. I’m a Princess is a good mare and with this race as arguably the weakest race she has competed in since her last win she must be a chance.
All-in-all, a great Golden Slipper day’s racing and I hope your day is enjoyable and of course, profitable.