The Autumn Racing Carnival reaches its peak at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday when no fewer than five Group 1 races are contested on 2021 Golden Slipper Day.
The rail will be set out 3 metres around the entire course and at publish, we’re faced with a track rated in the Soft (6) range.
Race 1 – 12:30pm AEDT – Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m)
Prague hit the line in impressive fashion to finish fourth in the Newmarket Handicap and this is a decent drop in class from that race.
The Redoute’s Choice colt has returned several pleasing efforts during his ten career starts, but a switch to Annabel Neasham’s set up appears to have brought him on, and he has been excellent in his two starts.
Fitter third-up and under set weights, the $6.50 available at publish looks over the odds.
Race 2 – 1:10pm AEDT – Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m)
Sacramento has been outstanding this time in, and he looks the runner to beat again in the NE Manion Cup.
Sacramento has recorded six wins and four placings during his seventeen career starts, but there is no doubt that he has found career-best form this time, which saw him record three wins in succession before finishing a close second behind Mount Popa in the Randwick City Stakes last time.
He is at peak fitness and getting out to 2400m at this point of his prep looks ideal.
Race 3 – 1:45pm AEDT – Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m)
I’m expecting Tailleur to instead take her place in The Galaxy field and that will blow this race wide open from a betting perspective, and bring a horse like Seasons into calculations.
Seasons has been a great horse for the Les Bridge yard throughout her career, and she returned to the races with a lovely effort for second, beaten just over half a length by Vulpine in the Wenona Girl Quality.
She’ll come in a little if and when Tailleur is removed, but there is no denying the value around her at $23.
Race 4 – 2:25pm AEDT – Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m)
The Ranvet Stakes shapes as a race in two between reigning champion Addeybb and Verry Elleegant, and I’m going to stick with the latter.
Verry Elleegant’s career has been well publicised, but she is a multiple Group 1 champion, and has so far finished second in the Apollo Stakes and won the Chipping Norton Stakes this time in.
Fitter third-up, further out in trip and under James McDonald, she’ll be right in the finish again.
Race 5 – 3:05pm AEDT – Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m)
Lion’s Roar couldn’t have been more impressive in the Randwick Guineas and I’m confident that he’ll only be better third-up and out to 2000m in the Rosehill Guineas.
The Contributer gelding experienced a meteoric rise to prominence during the spring, which culminated in an agonisingly close second in the Spring Champion Stakes.
He was forced to do a lot of work in the Hobartville Stakes when resuming this time but still managed to hit the line for fifth, and he is clearly a horse of great ability.
Race 6 – 3:45pm AEDT – Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m)
This is a fascinating edition of the George Ryder Stakes with several winning chances, including Avilius.
Avilius raced well during his spring campaign, but in failing to return to winning form, it appeared as though his best days were behind him,
Given little hope when he resumed in the Chipping Norton Stakes, however, the Pivotal gelding returned an eye-catching effort to finish third, beaten less than half a length by Verry Elleegant.
With natural improvement, this looks a great opportunity for him to record another Group 1 win.
Race 7 – 4:30pm AEDT – Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m)
Profiteer has been outstanding since debuting and he looks the runner to beat in this year’s Golden Slipper.
Having comfortably won down the straight at Flemington first-up, the Capitalist colt took early Golden Slipper favouritism after destroying his rivals in the Inglis Millennium.
He only just missed in the Todman Stakes a fortnight ago, but it looked as though Mick Price & Mick Kent Junior had backed off him a little, and I’m confident he’ll be peaking at Rosehill on Saturday.
I’m also going to have a saver on Blue Diamond Stakes winner Artorius.
Artorius has also made just three appearances at the races, but has continued to improve noticeably with each, and as the bar has been raised.
A repeat of his Group 1 winning effort last month would see him into the find again, and the $10 available for him at publish looks over the odds.
Race 8 – 5:10pm AEDT – Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m)
The Galaxy is generally always one of the most open Group 1 races of the autumn and that definitely looks like being the case again on Saturday.
Given there is a case to be made for nearly every runner, I’m going to have a crack at one at a price – Jonker ($34 at publish).
Jonker has always been a good and competitive horse, but it is fair to say that he has gone to another level since transferring to the care of Tony Gollan.
Having beaten his rivals by nearly five lengths in the Keith Noud Quality when resuming, Jonker flashed home to finish second in the George Moore Stakes before recording another comfortable win in the Magic Millions Sprint.
He races well fresh, has performed on a wet track previously and looks to be really nice value here.
Race 9 – 5:45pm AEDT – Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m)
This is the toughest task for which she has been set, but Mahashakti is clearly a mare of ability, and I think that she can run a bold race at Epona Stakes odds of $21.
The Mahisara mare finished fifth on debut at the Yarra Valley in December and simply hasn’t looked back, winning each of her four subsequent starts, each harder and more impressively that its predecessor.
She is at peak fitness for this race and is drawn and weighted well.