The Golden Slipper meeting was postponed last weekend due to wet weather and has been moved to this Saturday (27th March). The Rosehill Gardens course proper was rated a Heavy 9 on Thursday and with mainly fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Rosehill will remain in the Heavy range on raceday.
Kris Lees-trained British import Collide looks to have conditions to suit in the Manion Cup (Sydney Race 2, 2400m). The Frankel stallion had won 6 times in Europe ranging from 1800m to 2800m before he came to Australia. And Collide won four times from seven attempts in the wet. Had his first local start three weeks ago in the Randwick City Stakes (2000m), the 6YO finished a creditable 3rd to the promising Mount Popa who franked the form by taking out the Mornington Cup last Saturday.. Stepping up to 2400m will really suit and he has only been allotted with 54.5kg. Jason Collett will settle just behind the leading bunch with a cosy run and Collide looks the one to beat.
The postponement of the Rosehill Guineas by a week means that those Randwick Guineas runners would be having three weeks between runs and that would give the Melbourne horses a slight fitness edge (Sydney Race 5, 2000m). The runaway Alister Clark Stakes winner Grandslam didn’t start this campaign well after drawing wide and settling well back in the C.S. Hayes Stakes and the Australian Guineas. But Jamie Kah took full advantage of a good draw two weeks ago in the Alister Clark, going straight to the front and blitzed the field by 6.25 lengths. The 3YO colt is peaking being 4th up on Saturday and he has once again drawn well in gate 5. Mark Zahra is likely to adopt the catch me if you can tactic and Grandslam could prove hard to catch.
Four Moves Ahead seems to have more upsides than the other favourite runners in the Golden Slipper (Sydney Race 7, 1200m). The John Sargent-trained filly won on debut on 2nd January over 1150m on a Heavy 8 track. She was scheduled to run in the Silver Slipper but she knocked her knee in the stable box and was withdrawn 48 hours before the race. Four Moves Ahead instead started in the Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) on 27th February but she was clearly underdone due to the setback. Yet the filly was still good enough to sprint the second fastest last 200m (12 secs) of the race and won easily. Four Moves Ahead would have so much improvement left in her and Sargent has been putting a bit of work into her. She galloped really well on the polytrack on Tuesday so she should be spot on for the Slipper. Nash Rawiller will settle her somewhere mid-field and she will be powering home down the Rosehill straight.
By Owens Wong, Editor