Ahead of a massive day of racing across Australia tomorrow, we have looked into our ‘Crystal Ball’ and have come up with five key predictions that might play out across the day.
1. The George Ryder Will Outshine The All-Star Mile
The All-Star Mile has had a long build up in recent weeks, albeit mainly for frustrating reasons. Constant conversation around horses pulling out, turning down opportunities of wildcards and the lack of a genuine superstar name, which Zaaki brought last year, has taken the shine off the race.
Alligator Blood, often referred to as the people’s champ by some, stamped himself as the horse to beat in the $5 million race when winning the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Sandown last start. The tough gelding from the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable has been a fairy-tale story since joining Tulloch Lodge in a last bid attempt to revitalise his career over 12 months ago. He is the $2.70 favourite ahead of his regular sparring partners I’m Thunderstruck ($6) and Mr Brightside ($6).
It all seems a bit déjà vu.
However, in Sydney the George Ryder Stakes looking a ripping race. The George Ryder has attracted eight Group 1 winners, four last start Group 1 winners, an in-form Artorius, New Zealand form, two three-year-olds and of course, the champion, Anamoe.
On what is a massive day of racing in Sydney, no doubt the ATC would be thrilled with the field they have attracted for one of their features.
2. Manzoice Stamps Himself The Horse To Beat In The Derby
On what was a hard day to make ground off the fence at Randwick, Manzoice was a sneaky great run when resuming over the mile in the Randwick Guineas. The VRC Derby winner was sent around at big odds that day and caught the eye through the line as he started to hit his straps late.
New Zealand star Sharp ‘N’ Smart jumped a clear favourite in the VRC Derby and looked all but home in the time-honoured Group 1, eventually nailed on the line by Manzoice. The Kiwi stayer has subsequently returned home and continued on his winning ways when taking out the Group 1 ATR New Zealand Derby.
Sharp ‘N’ Smart is the $3 favourite with TAB, ahead of Manzoice on the second line of betting at $8. Godolphin galloper Pericles also shares that same quote with Manzoice and the pair will clash in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas on Saturday.
Pericles has been well backed into $2.60 favourite with TAB to win the race following his last start demolition at Sandown. However, keep an eye on Manzoice late in the piece and although the 2000m at Rosehill doesn’t suit, expect to see him hitting the line hard ahead of the Derby.
3. Can The Sydney Cup Horse Please Stand Up
We will get a great insight into how the Sydney Cup may play out at Rosehill on Saturday as a host of key chances take their place on the card. European import Glory Daze is the $8 joint-favourite with Cleveland for the Group 1 Sydney Cup as he prepares to tackle the Group 3 Manion Cup at Rosehill. The son of Cotai Glory is prepared by Melbourne Cup winning team Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and is the $2.70 favourite with TAB.
Still only lightly raced with ten starts, Glory Daze has produced three terrific runs in Australia, charging into fifth at Warrnambool over 1400m in his Australian debut, before winning a Benchmark 78 at Sandown over 1700m. His work through the line suggested the colt would thrive over further ground and he did just that, winning a 2000m Benchmark 88 at Randwick at his next start.
Glory Daze has shown tactical speed to take up a position if he wishes and will look to press his Sydney Cup claims on Saturday with Michael Dee aboard. Sir Lucan ($11 for the Sydney Cup) is the $3.90 second favourite behind Glory Daze for the Manion Cup. Nash Rawiller took luck out of the equation at Randwick last start, pushing the four-year-old to the front and never looking back. It was his first run since the 2021 Melbourne Cup where he started $26 behind Verry Elleegant.
Later on in race six, Melbourne Cup champion Gold Trip will stake his claims for another Group 1 in the Ranvet Stakes. The Maher and Eustace-trained five-year-old was eye-catching at Sandown last start and is the $3.90 favourite with TAB for the Ranvet Stakes.
4. Winner Of The Galaxy To Secure Everest Slot
Last weekend we also predicted the winner of the Newmarket Handicap would secure their slot in The Everest. Although it probably was right, In Secret no doubt would have already been pencilled in by Godolphin for their slot anyway before Saturday’s win.
Although The Galaxy doesn’t have the amount of Group 1 winners the Newmarket Handicap boasted, the race has still attracted a strong field. Aging star Eduardo won the race two years ago and the evergreen nine-year-old will carry topweight of 59kg on Saturday.
Eduardo, Nature Strip and co. have been the sprinting stalwarts of previous years, however, last years The Everest signalled a changing of the guard was imminent and this autumn looks as though it will be the confirmation. Nature Strip was rolled as a short-priced favourite in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes by three-year-old filly Coolangatta and Eduardo was beat by Passive Aggressive at Randwick in the Challenge Stakes last start.
Now last start Group 1 winner Uncommon James ($3.70 favourite) will be leading the charge of the next generation towards their own sprinting dynasty. The Queensland speedster was terrific winning the Oakleigh Plate and has drawn ideally again in barrier four.
Asfoora, Remarque, Mariamia and Shades Of Rose will all no doubt be in the minds of slot-holders for The Everest. Game on!
5. Quaddie Blowout In The Last
I don’t know who it will be, I don’t know where it will come from… But expect something crazy to happen in the last at Rosehill.
Mares races are hard at the best of times, let along full fields of 14 runners. Godolphin flyer Zapateo heads betting at $3.80 following a last start flop in the Oakleigh Plate, while Queensland sprinter Palaisipan sits on the second line of betting at $4 following a hot trial on Monday.
The last two lead-up races have seen Po Kare Kare win the Group 3 Triscay Stakes at $19, and Jal Lei win the Group 3 Wenona Girl Quality at $13… on protest.
Hypothetical ($9.50) is one of three horses in single-figures and comes through a midweek Benchmark 78 win on the Randwick Kensington. Punters couldn’t be given a bigger task for the get-out stakes.