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$3.5m for a 2yo race - good or bad?

The supposedly sacred day of Good Friday to me just means an extra day to do the form for Saturday, and for Australian racing, this year it's the Golden Slipper, the richest 2yo race in the world. Worth $3.5m in total (equates to £2.11m or US$3.2m), it is open to all-comers, the best of this two-year-old crop. To put that in perspective, the entire Cheltenham festival was worth £3.4m in 2010.

Held at Rosehill Gardens in western Sydney, the race suits Sydney's impatient 'I want it now' and 'News today, fish and chips wrapping tomorrow' style of living. Allowing a horse to develop for a career as a mature racehorse, perhaps over distance, rarely happens. So the Australian breeding industry has changed significantly. Everything is now about juvenile racing, but specifically up to a mile, rather than a Derby distance which is more than norm north of the equator.

I'm not against sprinting, although I do prefer longer races, it's the heavy workload placed on 2yos to get them ready for the big juvenile races. So many of them are burnt out after one season and do nothing for the rest of their careers. And there are the really good ones who get whisked off to stud soon after. Racing needs longevity for the public to have an emotional attachment with the stars of the turf. Super Impose, Might and Power, Sunline, Northerly... they came back year after year at the highest level and the crowds loved them. Jumps racing in the UK captures this - Istabraq, Best Mate, Hardy Eustace, Kauto Star, Denman - they come back again and again and wow the punters.
Juvenile racing will never have the same appeal.

Of course the other issue with this big race in Sydney is that once again, it will be run on a heavy track. So it won't come down to the best horse in the race, but the best swimmer...

If you're a Betfair trader, this race will be worth waking up for. There are five Group Is at Rosehill tomorrow, all shown live on AtTheRaces, so you could trade the lot - but the big race is on at 0605 BST, or 1605 Sydney time. For a formguide, try the Sydney Morning Herald, Racenet or Best Bets.

Who am I backing? Not sure as yet but Chance Bye and Decision Time look over the odds.

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Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo C&G
£220,000
1510 local 0010 AEST


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