With the Spring Racing Carnival fast approaching, racing writer Justin Devine takes a look at the big races in Sydney and identifies the leading hopes as well as a roughie or two.
Run over 1400m at Rosehill, the Group 1 Golden Rose is a 3yo race run over set weight conditions. It has become a stallion-making racing with recent winners including Zoustar, The Autumn Sun and Bivouac.
🥇ANAMOE $4.60 – With placings in the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper and a win in the Group 1 Sires produce, ANAMOE was the most consistent 2yo last season. Despite some poor barrier draws in the big races he showed a high level of professionalism in his races. On the exposed form, the Godolphin 3yo is the clear top pick.
🥈FINANCE TYCOON $26 – While not getting the publicity of some of his rivals FINANCE TYCOON put in a solid debut season as a 2yo, finishing 4th in the Blue Diamond just behind Anamoe and wasn’t disgraced in the Magic Millions carnival despite a bad gate in the 2yo Classic. A nice win at Caulfield before heading to the paddock could be a taste of bigger things to come.
💰PRINCE OF BOOM $51 – PRINCE OF BOOM could be this year’s knockout chance. He was a Group 2 winner in the Brisbane carnival and his trainer Robert Heathcote is following the same preparation as last year’s favourite Rothfire. Rothfire pulled up lame after finishing 4th in the race last year, can PRINCE OF BOOM make amends?
With four wins in the last eight years, the Group 1 Epsom Handicap has become a happy hunting ground for the Chris Waller stable. While iconic trainer Gai Waterhouse has prepared the winner seven times. Who will get the prize this year?
🥇HUNGRY HEART $11 – The pick of the Waller runners, HUNGRY HEART came of age in the Autumn with back to back Group 1 wins. The stable looks to have ironed out some of her quirks, much like her high profile stablemate Verry Elleegant. Can HUNGRY HEART rise to the occasion in the Spring? I think so.
🥈COLETTE $15 – The Godolphin trained COLETTE is already a star with a Oaks win as a 3yo and a Golden Eagle win as a 4yo. There is no reason that she cannot add an Epsom win as a 5yo to her already impressive CV. She will be competitive in any race that she contests and if there is some rain around, get on!
💰RIODINI $26 – The lightly raced 5yo was placed in the race last year and has the Gai Waterhouse polish. Expect him to be trained to the minute and he is capable of giving Gai Epsom number 8.
The Metropolitan is the premier staying race for the Sydney Spring Carnival. The race can be used in the past as a build-up race for horses heading to Melbourne for the Cups.
🥇EXPLOSIVE JACK $15 – With three wins and a third in four derby runs EXPLOSIVE JACK is one of the most exciting staying prospects in the country. The Maher and Eustace training team have an outstanding record at races 2000m+ and with EXPLOSIVE JACK they have a stayer who tries his heart out. He has already won over the 2400m at Randwick and if connections decide to head towards The Metrop, he will be hard to hold out.
🥈PERSAN $31 – It has been a fairytale ride for connections of PERSAN. Placed in a Wangaratta maiden in April and 5th in the Melbourne Cup in November. Since resuming this year, the 5yo has won at the Valley and was placed as favourite in the Group 3 Easter Cup. Expect him to be thereabouts in the big staying races this spring.
💰LIQUEURO $61 – The lightly raced LIQUEURO has won four from six, including a win over EXPLOSIVE JACK in the Bendigo St Leger late last year. Is he the stayer who will come from nowhere? From a canny stable, he is worth a throw at the stumps!
With $15m in prize money on offer, The Everest in the world’s richest race on turf. Male horses have dominated the race, winning all four races to have been run. REDZEL won the first two Everest’s in 2017 and 2018.
🥇NATURE STRIP $4.60 – Arguably the best sprinter in the world on his day, the enigmatic NATURE STRIP continues to amuse and bemuse in equal doses. In last year’s Everest, he sat too close to the tearaway leader EDUARDO and was burnt out with 200m to go. The fact that he finished so close to the eventual winner was a credit to him. In the right mood and if conditions suit, they won’t catch him.
🥈CLASSIQUE LEGEND $5.50 – CLASSIQUE LEGEND came with a well-timed run off a hot tempo to win The Everest last year. He has returned to Australia after a disappointing Hong Kong campaign and is likely to get his chance off another fast early speed. Back in familiar surroundings, there is no reason why he can’t emulate REDZEL and go back to back.
💰ANAMOE $11 – With an embarrassment of riches it is hard to know which way the Godolphin racing machine will go with their Everest Slot. If the 3yo ANAMOE improves on his 2yo season he could be the best option for the Blue Army. While James Cummings is yet to win the big race, Godolphin runners have placed in the last three years. A win is not far away. Yes Yes Yes won the race as a 3yo in 2019 and under WFA conditions ANAMOE can do the same.
This will be the third running of the world’s richest 4yo race, The Golden Eagle. The race is becoming a feature of the Sydney Racing Carnival.
🥇AYRTON $5 – Connections of the lightly raced AYRTON have had the Golden Eagle on the radar for a long time and the race look’s his for the taking. He gave his rivals a galloping lesson in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic in the Brisbane Carnival and is thriving in work.
🥈SHADOW HERO $12 – Returns to the Mark Newnham stable after a disappointing trip to Hong Kong. He was a two-time Group 1 winner as a 3yo and will appreciate a return home. Expect him to run well.
💰AWAY GAME $51 – With over $3m in prizemoney AWAY GAME is a horse anyone would like to have in the stable. She was placed in the Golden Slipper as a 2yo and won the Group 2, Percy Sykes, on a heavy track as 3yo. One thing is certain, she will try her heart out and is worth an each-way ticket.