Gai Leads Ladies Day Celebrations

The opening day of the BMW Sydney Carnival, Cellarbrations Ladies Day this Saturday, 23 March at Rosehill Gardens promises to be a day full of excitement with eight black type races, three of these at the elite Group 1 level.

All eyes will be on the clash of the titans when Gai Waterhouse-trained stable mates More Joyous (Nash Rawiller) and Pierro (Jim Cassidy) go head to head in the $350,000 Cellarbrations Canterbury Stakes which has recently been elevated to Group 1 level. Punters have not been able to divide the two, with both horses opening as equal favourites at $2.40 with TAB Fixed Odds.

More Joyous – the epitome of girl power on the racecourse – has will be looking to emulate her 2012 autumn campaign with a clean sweep of wins in the four feature races she entered during the BMW Sydney Carnival which began with this race 12 months ago. However two-year-old Triple Crown winner Pierro has proven he is up to the challenge with a strong win on a Heavy track in the Hobartville Stakes.

The three Group 1 contests on the day all have excellent representation from the three-year-olds, in what has been described as the best vintage since Octagonal’s era in 1996.

Group 1 winning fillies Dear Demi (Jim Cassidy) and Norzita (James McDonald) lead the charge for the classic generation in the richest race of the day, the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic. A star studded field including five individual Group 1 winners is headed in the betting market by Steps in Time (Nash Rawiller) who has opened as the race favourite at $5.00.

In the Group 1 $400,000 Ranvet Stakes, Anthony Cummings’ three-year-old Fiveandahalfstar (Peter Robl) commences his Sydney campaign towards the Group 1 $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby when he tackles the older horses off a narrow second to Super Cool last start in the VRC Australian Cup.

Tooheys New Golden Slipper favouritism is at stake when the top three horses who currently lead the betting in the world’s richest two-year-old race take to the track in the day’s two key juvenile races. Fillies Overreach (Tommy Berry) and Villa Verde (Hugh Bowman) will face the starter in the Group 2 $300,000 Moet and Chandon Stakes, and Gerald Ryan-trained colt Charlie Boy (Glyn Schofield) will line up in the Group 2 $300,000 Spotless Todman Stakes.

Off the track, autumn racewear will be at the forefront with fashionable fillies vying for a share in the $50,000 prize pool in the Cellarbrations Fashion Stakes. The competition will be fierce with a dazzling Nicholas Haywood Jewellery Concierge Ring Stack valued at $15,000 and a 4 Night Stay Twin Share at the luxurious Chiva Som Resort & Spa in Thailand on offer.

Each of the contestants will also have the chance to win the headwear ‘spot prize’ which will be judged by celebrity milliner Neil Grigg with the winning lady awarded a personal consultation with Neil and a custom made millinery piece, valued at $1,250.

Source : Australian Turf Club

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