Golden Slipper -
There are five Group 1s on the Rosehill card this week, which is what makes Golden Slipper day such a special one on the racing calendar.
Add to that the All Star Mile down in Melbourne, and it’s a day for the purist.
The Golden Slipper is here again, and as ever a full field of colts and fillies will greet the judge for the mad scamper of two-year-olds.
Sydney form usually holds the whip hand when it comes to the Slipper, but the Blue Diamond is always well represented and those from it invariably run well.
Little Brose won what many would call a “messy” Blue Diamond this year, winning the race with some authority after breaking into the clear at the right time and putting the field away. He sits in a good spot for a juvenile, third or fourth pair, out of the speed battle, but not too far away. Drawn perfectly in 5, he’s there to run well.
Don Corleone and Steel City were unlucky behind Little Brose – whether they would have beaten him is up for debate, and might be settled on Saturday.
Don Corleone was back in the ruck when Little Brose made his winning break, trying to track that horse, and while he did attack the line once clear, he was also being held on the line.
Steel City came out of the Blue Diamond and brained them in the Magic Night last week. Before that, she had pushed highly regarded types like Red Resistance and Learning to Fly. Barrier 15 is her problem, and the reason you’re getting lucrative odds.
Barber had nothing when asked in the Blue Diamond, but had beaten Little Brose the start before. Arkansaw Kid ran a stylish third in the Diamond, but others were better. Godolphin’s Exploring was also there, but wasn’t up to the task and would need to find a lot to compete here.
Cylinder is the pick of the Sydney colts, and heads up favouritism in the Golden Slipper. Red Resistance was all the rage leading into the Todman and tried to dominate proceedings, but Cylinder proved too tough for him. He’s a street-fighter, and you always want one of those in your stable.
Red Resistance also has to jump from barrier 16 this time, so that’s a brand new challenge after racing in fields of five. He’s up against it.
King’s Gambit has started heavy favourite in all three career starts to date, but hasn’t been able to beat Cylinder or Red Resistance when they’ve met. There is no better “grand final” trainer combination than the Snowden’s though, and a few gear changes might do the trick.
Shinzo won the Pago Pago like a very good horse, sweeping down the outside. He draws gate one this time though, in a much stronger field, and for some reason has an international jockey on-board. That’s not usually a winning recipe at Rosehill, as we saw on Golden Eagle day in the spring.
Annabel Neasham filly Learning To Fly is the only unbeaten horse in the field, looking to extend her winning record from three to four. She beat Steel City back in January, and we’ve seen that form hold up. Learning To Fly hasn’t been winning by much, but has shown she can do it from the front and back, and the horses finishing behind her keep racing well.
It’s a really even Slipper year. The right run at the right time will be everything, on top of working out which horses are still improving and which have plateaued. The form-lines are mostly interconnecting too, which may help or hinder.
Steel City is the pivotal runner, having raced in both Melbourne and Sydney, against the boys and girls. She hasn’t reached her ceiling yet, but negotiating barrier 15 is a mighty tough ask. Otherwise she’d be on top.
Selections: 1.Little Brose 2.Learning To Fly 3.Cylinder 4.Steel City
* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check Playup Website For Latest Odds