Timeform Previews : 2020 Golden Slipper Day

The Timeform team at R&S have assessed the Golden Slipper, Rosehill Guineas and George Ryder ahead of one of the biggest days in Australian racing.

Timeform Preview - Golden Slipper 2020

On the whole this two-year-old crop hasn't set the track alight, however we are still faced with a very intriguing Golden Slipper on Saturday.

Hanseatic winning the T'bred Club Merson Cooper Stks
Hanseatic winning the T'bred Club Merson Cooper Stks Picture: Racing and Sports

At first glance the colts look to have the edge, which is generally a good sign for the crop moving forward.

With such a strong three-year-old group, it was always going to be hard for the next wave coming through, however their best is still likely to come.

Exceedance, Superstorm and Standout all hadn't been seen by this time last year, so we eagerly await the next few months.

BIVOUAC winning the Seppelt Wines Newmarket Hcp
BIVOUAC winning the Seppelt Wines Newmarket Hcp Picture: Racing and Sports

The Anthony Freedman trained Hanseatic  possesses a Timeform rating of 116 and of the leading colts, he appears to have the most X-factor.

Unbeaten at his first three starts, his performance in the Blue Diamond Prelude was top drawer, horses just don't win from where he was.

He had his colours lowered in the Blue Diamond behind Tagaloa ($2.60 Vs $26), however you have to very wary of that form.

We've already seen both Bivouac  and Regal Power  improve sharply at their next start, while winners Adelaide Ace, Greysful Glamour, La Tene, Streets Of Avalon, Tagaloa and Miss Siska all failed to repeat, on average they dropped seven pounds at their next start.

SHADOW HERO winning the Mostyn Copper Randwick Guineas
SHADOW HERO winning the Mostyn Copper Randwick Guineas Picture: Racing and Sports

Untested on a wet track, but has drawn to get into a lovely spot for new rider Kerrin McEvoy and is expected to return a new career peak on Saturday.

Gai Waterhouse has already won six Golden Slippers, the most of any trainer alongside her Dad Tommy Smith.

She saddles up Farnan  on Saturday, the key stand-out juvenile from Sydney.

Away from his unlucky effort in the Magic Millions, he has been faultless and brings the right profile having been dominant in both the Silver Slipper and Todman Stakes.

Former stable stars Pierro and Vancouver followed the exact same path and while clearly a level below them, he sets a decent marker on Saturday.

TE AKAU SHARK winning the Tab Chipping Norton Stakes
TE AKAU SHARK winning the Tab Chipping Norton Stakes Picture: Racing and Sports

The wide draw looks advantageous, he should put himself into the race from the outset and can improve further on his master Timeform rating of 117.

Blue Diamond winner Tagaloa was no match for Farnan in the Todman, but closed off very well and has the right profile to peak again on Saturday.

They elect to save the blinkers for another day, but he should relish the high pressure and much like Hanseatic, he has plenty of options from the good draw.

Won't be easy to turn the tables on Farnan, but granted he handles the track, he should be the strongest late.

Of the fillies division, the Team Snowden trained Dame Giselle appears the top pick.

A dynamic winner of the Golden Gift back in November, she has been brought along slowly and appears set to peak on Saturday.

Not reading too much into the time out of the Reisling Stakes, it was a strangely run race and this has always been the Grand Final.

Time and time again Team Snowden get them to peak on the right day and she appears no different.

Timeform Preview – Rosehill Guineas

Shadow Hero  is out to become the fourth horse to follow up success in the Randwick Guineas in the Rosehill Guineas and he has the ratings profile to do just that.

Since the Randwick Guineas came to be in it's current form three, Metal Bender (2009), Dundeel (2013), and The Autumn Sun (2019), have done the double and Shadow Hero looks a terrific candidate to follow that path.

His Randwick Guineas win earned him a Timeform rating of 118, lower than the aforementioned trio, but he did it with a show of late strength and promises to explode back out to 2000m now.

Like Dundeel, Shadow Hero established himself by completing the Gloaming/Spring Champion double back in the springtime and looks ready to go to a new level after winning the Randwick Guineas. 

2000m looks his ideal trip and it would be a surprise if he didn't burst through the 120 barrier this weekend all being well.

Only one horse in the race has broken through that barrier to date – Castelvecchio, who ran to 124 in the Cox Plate.

That came after running second to Shadow Hero in the Spring Champion. The pair have been tied together throughout the season with the Rosehill Guineas set to be their fifth meeting. The ledger currently sits at 4-0 Shadow Hero.

The other key players in the race are the VRC Derby winner Warning and the NZ Derby winner Sherwood Forest – rated 115 and 116 respectively.

Warning has warmed up nicely through the Hobartville and Randwick Guineas with both runs giving the impression that he is on track to find his peak out to 2000m.

The Rosehill Guineas has been a good race for those carrying VRC Derby form, and it has also been a happy hunting ground for the Kiwis with three of the past nine winners coming through their Derby.

Sherwood Forest stayed on well to beat two smart horses in a good edition of the Derby over there this year and he can't be taken lightly with that big platform underneath him – especially in a year where the Kiwis are having such a strong run.

Timeform Preview – George Ryder Stakes

The pride of New Zealand Te Akau Shark  will put his huge reputation on the line in the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill this afternoon.

A seven-time winner from 12 race starts, the giant chestnut comes off a barnstorming victory in the group one Chipping Norton Stakes over 1600m at Randwick a fortnight back where he returned a new peak Timeform rating of 126.

Although he comes back a shade in trip this afternoon to 1500m, regular rider Opie Bosson will make the necessary in race adjustments to ensure The Shark is within striking distance of the leaders turning for home.

Under that scenario, The Shark should again be too strong for his rivals and complete the Chipping Norton – George Ryder Stakes double, something the mighty mare Winx was able to achieve in 2016/2017 and 2018 and Lonhro in 2003.

A repeat of his 126 Timeform rating sees Te Akau Shark join that duo.

Two-time course winner and likely leader Dreamforce  is deserving of another chance after failing to find anything late in the Chipping Norton Stakes behind Te Akau Shark.

On that occasion, Dreamforce had blinkers applied for a second time and after leading into the straight faded badly the last 100m.

On the positive side, that was just his second up run in over three months so further improvement can be expected.

A return to his 120 Timeform rating when runner up to Alizee in the Apollo Stakes puts him in the frame and with winning rider Nash Rawiller back in the saddle, don't be surprised if Dreamforce is in proceedings for a long way.

Last start winner of the group one Canterbury Stakes The Bostonian could be a surprise packet at odds, as he nearly always is when he comes to Australia.

Already a winner at 1600m, the trip this afternoon is of no concern and his record second up is strong with three wins from six attempts.

The big factor in his favour is the damp track - conditions in which he excels.

Three-year-olds Super Seth, Brandenburg and Spend loom as fringe hopes with Super Seth boasting the best Timeform rating of the trio with a figure of 117.

However Super Seth  as a group one Caulfield Guineas winner over Alligator Blood does boast a solid form line with the promise of more to come from his 117 figure.

He comes off a narrow second behind Streets Of Avalon in the group one Futurity Stakes over 1400m then suffered a set back that ruled him out of running in the Randwick Guineas.

If fully recovered, Super Seth has the capacity to make the next step and be a threat this afternoon.


Racing and Sports