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Golden Slipper preview

The headline act on a day with five Group 1 races at Rosehill Gardens is the Tooheys New Golden Slipper. Unfortunately for on-course patrons, John Singleton doesn't have a runner so there's no chance of the winner shouting the entire crowd a beer, but it's a great race yet again, and naturally, Gai Waterhouse is multi-handed as she aims for yet another win in the race.

Assessing the field for the blog is @thisweekspunt, for more of his shrewd advice, check out the expert blog covering several sports....

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The Golden Slipper

Welcome to the richest two-year-old race in the world. The 2013 edition of the Golden Slipper is worth a whopping 3.5 million Australian dollars and sees the country’s biggest stables and breeding operations all try to peak their talented juveniles for a big pay day. At the time of writing the track is rated a slow 7 (heavy 8 at time of posting, but 'only just' according to the track manager) and with showers around the morning of the race the selections will be based around a rain affected track.

As always a capacity field of 16 lines up in the Slipper with luck in-running ultra important for horses which usually lack a great deal of maturity. The speed of this race is fascinating Ruud Awakening (barrier 16), Kuroshio (14) and I’m All The Talk (13) all look likely to push forward with Villa Verde (15) expected to get on their backs and look for a spot up front. Tommy Berry is expected to use the inside gate on the short price favourite Overreach and push to front with Waterhouse’s other runners Sweet Idea & Whittington won’t be far away either.

Runner by runner;

1. Criterion – Three wins from four starts with inside barrier can’t be overlooked. Only has one strong run so may need to be saved back in field which may make it difficult. Note that a barrier trial performance in Feb he was poor on slow ground.

2. Fast ‘N’ Rocking – another runner with one strong finishing burst concerned with the barrier 15 however should be able to get out wide in the straight and pace on upfront will suit.

3. Kuroshio – this one will ensure a hot tempo with the stablemates best interests in mind. Won’t have the class too go with the classy ones up front.

4. Sidestep – Impressive winner last Saturday, blinkers go on for the first time and looks a progressive type. Breeding says ground no issues.

5. I’m All The Talk – Looks to have peaked last start with an impressive win in the Skyline stakes last start. Fourth on a rain affected track prior, will need some luck going forward but can fight on.

6. Whittington – Three horses on his immediate inside should be slow out which may allow this Waterhouse runner into a perfect spot. Soft ground could be a problem.

7. Dothraki – Should get good run in transit however looks outclassed here.

8. Charlie Boy – Not many options from the wide draw so will need to go back. Doesn’t quite have the turn of foot to match it with this class on exposed times.

9. Va Pensiero – Had his chance to run down Whittington who is on the up then didn’t want to be there in the Todman. On best stats is a place chance with a good run. Slow should suit.

10. Windjammer – blinkers first time however hasn’t shown enough to be considered here.

11. Overreach – short price favourite after impressive win last start. With inside gate will be made to work hard early and slow track could be brought back to the field with pressure.

12. Ruud Awakening – very impressive in New Zealand however that form hasn’t been exposed in Australia and two year olds can’t peak three times in a year. Has been set a task from the outside gate. Another runner who will be left vulnerable late.

13. Sweet Idea – Another Waterhouse runner however draws the perfect barrier in four this time. Has exposed form on the soft with a last start win on the heavy nine. Looks the one to beat.

14. Villa Verde – was no match for Overreach last start however that was first up from 137 day lay-off. Potential rating of this horse is good enough to win a slipper if Rodd can take the trail across from other wide runner’s suspect she will be in the finish.

15. Guelph - Has the best finishing sectionals of any runner on exposed form and will be suited by the tempo of the race. Has quality Sydney form from spring. If she is right and ready to peak again after the Diamond one worth following.

16. Romantic Moon – The last two heavy track winners of the Golden Slipper have been sired by More Than Ready as well (Sebring & Phelan Ready). Downpour appears this horses only chance though as ratings suggest not good enough level for this.

17. Havana – emergency for this race who isn’t the worst if gets a run after improving with the blinkers last run. Probably needs another run to bring him on for a contest at this level though.

18. Il Cavallo – second emergency and unlikely runner who ran quick time in winning on debut. The step up to 1200M 2nd up into a Slipper would be enough for me to question credentials.

This looks a great race to take on a short-priced favourite. Overreach has the best ratings coming into this race however the pattern of this contest just will not suit a one-dimensional Waterhouse runner. Tom Berry’s only option will be to go out quick and hope there is enough in the tank to hold off the swoopers, With Ruud Awakening, Kuroshio and I’m All The Talk all expected to come across from out wide in the slow conditions I suspect he won’t have a sprint in the second part of the race.

I think this is a year for the fillies to shine –The top Selection is another Waterhouse runner in 13. Sweet Idea - Jim Cassidy who has been in good form will have this one cuddled up behind the speed with exposed form on the wet track however good times and performances against yardstick two year old performances including Assail in November & nosed out in the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast this horse has the class to win this race. Around the $11 mark this is a great bet.

For 2nd I like 14. Villa Verde – again another horse who’s top rating coming into this race is good enough to win high rating Golden Slippers. Although coming off a 137 day break last start she was able to run second behind Overreach with plenty of upside this is horse to follow. Michael Rodd is a Group 1 winning jockey who should be able to follow other wide barrier horses across and so long as he gets a mid race break this is a horse worth following

The Peter Snowden trained Guelph is the third selection, this horse has the best sectional finish of any runner in this field. The Blue Diamond run was a total forgive and he started favourite that day. Should start around $5.00 a place and well worth a ticket.

13. Sweet Idea
14. Villa Verde
15. Guelph

TIP- Lay the favourite & back runners to come from mid-back in the field

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