Selections for Rosehill’s monstrous Golden Slipper Day card:
Race 1A—Neville Sellwood Stakes
Trainer Gai Waterhouse begins a big day with the favorite here, Faulconbridge who drops a couple pounds from his runner-up effort in the Kembla Cup last out; he’s only finished out the money once in ten races, and won six over all surface conditions. Nice post, with Blake Shinn up. Another one to take a hard-look at is Keepin’ the Dream coming in off a win in the Sky High Stakes under Jim Cassidy; last September he finished second behind Bianca on the heavy Wyong Gold Cup track. Twin Wing loves the wet, with placings in all three heavy track efforts; narrow loss to Keepin’ the Dream last out with Chris Munce up.
Result: Okay, we’re going to have to focus on lightweights, and perhaps closers. My three picks led most of the way, but in deep stretch, Ausbred King, Sussman and Absent Friends went by—all coming off the pace. Congratulations to jockey Kathy O’Hara for the win. $1,000+ trifecta
Race 2A—G2 Tulloch Stakes
Predatory Pricer comes in off a nice third-place finish to Heart of Dreams in the G2 Phar Lap, but the heavy is a concern; he’s done well enough with a little sting out, but not as well with the heavy. Wembly finished fifth (but only 1 length back) to Samantha Miss in last year’s G1 Champagne on a yielding surface, and posted a close-up second in his only previous heavy track attempt; he comes in off a win and could surprise here. Dr. Doute’s is, along with Predatory Pricer, the class of the field and has performed well enough on soft going. However, considering the results of that first race, I might take a flyer on Glen Boss and Old Jock—his form is nowhere near that the top two, but has won on the heavy.
Result: New Zealand rules! Harris Tweed muscled out Dr. Doute’s and Old Jock.
Race 3A—G1 Storm Queen Stakes
I love Glowlamp, and one of these days she’ll win—but probably not today, although she does get Hugh Bowman up. Gallica is super-talented, but the heavy is a big question mark. Il Quello Veloce is a true wet-tracker, and Darren Beadman up is a big bonus; the distance is the question. The other wet-tracker looks to be Sheikh Mohammed’s Purple, with his top jock Kerrin McEvoy up—but she’s been disappointing in runs this campaign.
Result: Sorry, Anne, but indeed the mudlark Purple made it look easy; Gold Water and Gallica followed, and once again Glowlamp was up close but no luck.
Race 4A—G1 Queen of the Turf Stakes
Culminate loves the wet, and finished a nice second to Typhoon Tracy in the G1 Coolmore last out. I don’t think you can count out Neroli who runs well on everything. Champagne Harmony is in great form, with an impressive close-up finish in the G1 Robert Sangster last out. You can’t fault Gallant Tess’s form, but in 10 races at Rosehill, she’s only won 1 and placed in 6—frustrating, no doubt, so can’t peg her for the win, but live for a placing. Hot Danish has won three in a row, so don't be surprised if she rolls for her fourth, as she loses nearly 10 lbs from her last race.
Result: Sheikh Mohammed scores with his Neroli narrowly defeating Hot Danish, with Imananabaa nosing out Chinchilla Rose for third.
Race 5A—G1 BMW Stakes
Love Melbourne Cup winner Viewed here; he won the G2 Brisbane Cup last June on the heavy. I’m a big Theseo fan, but he’s questionable on the wet. Road To Rock (with big-race jock Glen Boss up) looks more promising here. G1 Auckland Cup victor Mr Tipsy is a huge price, but also 3 for 3 on heavy tracks—could be huge price! His trainer won race 2 with another New Zealand shipper.
Result: Talk about it being Darren Beadman’s day, as 45-1 Fiumicino beat Theseo and Viewed. At least Chris Munce stuck on Newport; the gray’s been notorious for dumping riders of late. Still, not close today, but Master O’Reilly was fourth. I must have been tipsy betting on Mr Tipsy! :)
Race 6A—G1 George Ryder Stakes
I call “uncle” on this race. Way too many talented runners, and this track is a crapshoot, as those who haven’t been in form for awhile are winning. The obvious wet trackers are my long-time favorite Vision and Power, as well as Triple Honour, Sarrera and Fravashi. All Silent looks awful tough too, and wouldn’t it be great to see Light Fantastic back to his old self?
Result: Way to go, Vision and Power! He nipped Black Piranha who from his form looked a clear dry track horse! This is just crazy. Third went to King Mufhasa who nosed out All Silent. Congratulations to jock Jim Cassidy on his 100th G1 victory.
Race 7A—G1 Golden Slipper Stakes
The pièce de résistance, the Golden Slipper. Interestingly, of the sixteen starters, nine are fillies, six colts and one gelding. Only one has run on heavy, So Anyway, who finished third in a maiden plate at Wyong. Can’t imagine she’s a serious threat here. Gai Waterhouse has three real possibilities: Horizons (Blake Shinn), Manhattan Rain (Nash Rawiller), and More Joyous (Darren Beadman). If I had my choice, the winner would be More Joyous. Of course, it doesn’t work that way (at my whim) so serious challengers to consider are Real Saga and Rostova. Can Phelan Ready master this field?
Result: Phelan Ready wins! A Foolish Pleasure descendent! Awesome. Another More Than Ready offspring wins the Golden Slipper; Sebring won last year. Glen Boss on the filly Headway won the photo for second over Manhattan Rain. Real Saga was fourth. Very disappointing that More Joyous couldn’t handle the wet, but not surprised.
Race 8A—listed Schweppervescence Stakes
Aichi looks the obvious choice here, but the other Peter Snowden horse Posadas does well coming in off a layoff. Mount Verde is a true wet tracker and looks a nice possibility here, as does Fighting Fund with Kathy O’Hara up.
Result: Finally, I cash a decent ticket, as Mount Verde holds off the Darley pair of Aichi and Posadas.
Race 9A—listed Royal Parma Stakes
Final race. Time for a Gai Waterhouse winner in Royal Discretion. Still, Mr. Baritone has a heck of a wet track race—but he hasn’t won since last June. Pins on Parade looks in good form, and an out-and-out wet tracker is With A Chance at a big price.
Result: Darren Beadman is god. He takes out the finale with Dao Dao. Second was Musket, and third Pins on Parade; Royal Discretion was fourth.
What a thrilling night!