The Golden Slipper, if not Sydney's most iconic race then near enough, is one where the profilers come out in force. Months of established lead-ups to a destination race that draws the best horses from the crop year in year out.
The profile horse heading into this year's Golden Slipper is Profiteer – winner of the Inglis Classic but perhaps more importantly runner up in the premier Slipper Trial, the Todman Stakes.
The last 10 winners had finished first or second in a recognized Slipper trial. In fact, only Forensics and Miss Finland, who both finished 4th in the Reisling Slipper Trial, have not fit that mould among winners this century.
Nine of those past 10 have come through the Todman or the Reisling, well established as the premier Slipper trials and their record speaks to that. Of course, it is the horses that make the Todman and the Reisling, not the other way around. Only Kiamichi (who came via the Magic Night to win a heavy track Slipper in 2019) has won the Slipper with a Timeform rating below 115 before the Slipper in the last 10 years.
This year's Reisling fell a long way short of that mark, but the Todman was up to standard and so Anamoe and Profiteer, first and second in that Todman, carry that strong profile into this year's Golden Slipper.
Another point of interest when looking at recent Slipper winners is that seven of the past twelve had run below their established peak in their lead up run.
Of the five that peaked and peaked again four were trained by Gai Waterhouse – Gai plays by her own rules!
Profiteer fits the mould. He established his talent with a fast win in the Inglis Millenium before backing off that peak when second in the Todman.
There he showed that he could control his speed over the 1200m and now he sets himself up for a big peak in a race that his shrewd stable have targeted from a long way out.
Mick Price has put the saddle on some strong Slipper chances in the past. Extreme Choice and Samaready both started favourite in the race. Samaready ran third, as did Flying Artie who was a 3/1 chance. But they all came via big peaks in the Diamond.
Profiteer does not have the established peaks of that trio, but he has been set to produce it here rather than home at Caulfield.
With that in mind he deserves his place at the head of betting over the Blue Diamond winner Artorius who tops the ratings pre-race but faces the task of improving again off a big peak.
The Blue Diamond has not produced a Golden Slipper winner since Sepoy did the double 10 years ago but looking beyond just winners shows the Diamond in a better light. Blue Diamond runners have been in the placings in the Slipper in nine of the past 10 years and in Artorius the Diamond has another very credible contender.
He looks set to enter the Slipper as the highest rated runner and must hold a terrific chance for a stable that knows exactly what they are doing with their juvenile team and have had plenty of top end success on both sides of the Murray.
Stay Inside has a similar profile to Profiteer. A big peak rating followed by a beaten run in the Todman when things didn't really pan out for him.
He has handled soft going, which must be a plus, and fits the typical profile of recent Slipper winners, so he demands respect, though he must sit behind Profiteer based on the Todman.
The fillies were not a factor in the Blue Diamond after being slower than the colts in the trials and the same pattern has emerged in Sydney where the colts have had the ratings edge over the fillies week-in-week-out this season.
The pick of the fillies is Four Moves Ahead and she did do a terrific job to win the Sweet Embrace off a set back, leaving her well poised to improve again.
The query, other than needing a clear new peak rating, is whether or not the Golden Slipper comes up too quickly for her at just her third start but she is clearly a talent and deserves more than a cursory glance.
Ingratiating and Anamoe chased home Artorius in the Blue Diamond and have both had Sydney runs since to bolster their Slipper credentials.
Ingratiating fits the profile of those coming off a ratings dip, running well below his Diamond form with the blinkers off in the Pago Pago, but he could bounce straight back with them back on now and looks a good chance away from the market leaders.
Anamoe certainly beefed up his Slipper credentials by winning the Todman and beating the leading players here in good style.
The query he faces here is that he caught them on the hop there – coming off that high-pressure Diamond and excelling off a perfect run throughout. Now they improve and he has to rise again with the barrier potentially setting things up to be a little bit tougher for him.
He has a strong rating and a stack of talent though, and must be among the better hopes.
The Silver Slipper was below typical standard this year, but Home Affairs built on his effort there with a placing in the Todman and looks one to go well along with his stablemate Shaquero who is a Magic Millions winner and won the Pago Pago well enough last week to think that he has some hope just seven days on.
The Ranvet Stakes is the first of five Group 1 races held at Rosehill on Saturday and while only a small field, it boasts some serious horse flesh.
Addeybb is rated 129 by Timeform following his success in the Champion Stakes and is one of the best in the world while our own star Verry Elleegant is rated 123.
After her mares' allowance, there is only two pounds between them and with her fitness edge, it is sure to be a cracking contest.
Having already met twice, Addeybb leads the ledger 2-0 with only half a length separating them in this race last year.
He then went on to beat her by close to three lengths in the Queen Elizabeth, so if she is to beat him Saturday appears her best chance.
Although only a narrow winner of the Chipping Norton Stakes, she again displayed her fighting qualities lifting late to deny Colette in the shadows of the post.
Rated 118, she has a room to move on that figure and has won four of five attempts third up.
No question she will need to be on her game to deny Addeybb, however so will he if she runs up to her peak rating of 123.
The Team Hawkes trained Master Of Wine is expected to fill the trifecta, but is unlikely to trouble the first two.
Lion's Roar will be out to repeat the deeds of The Autumn Sun when he attempts to complete the Randwick Guineas/Rosehill Guineas double on Saturday.
He will also join Dundeel (2013) and Metal Bender (2009) as the only other horses to complete the double since the carnival changed.
A surprise winner (25-1) of the Randwick Guineas he confirmed his narrow defeat in the Spring Champion, when too good late under Avdulla.
While Lion's Roar had an uninterrupted run down the outside, the same can't be said for the Annabel Neasham trained Mo'unga who probably should of won.
Locked away on the inside, he was forced to wait and pull to the outside before really launching late.
He was the big flashing light run and no surprise to see him installed favourite on Saturday.
Mo'Unga also brings the shortest SP out of the Guineas and looks set to turn the tables.
The inside draw is some concern, though hoping Berry can settle a touch closer and get him into the clear on straightening.
The David Payne trained Montefilia is the big query runner, stepping up sharply in trip having finished sixth in the Surround Stakes [1400m] first up.
She simply got too far back, but should be much better suited on Saturday.
Certainly not an easy ask second up, but when taking a line through Lion's Roar who she beat in the Spring Champion Stakes ($2.75 Vs $17) she looks well placed.
Collett is unbeaten aboard the filly and she is sure to have no concerns with the wet-track.
The Paul Preusker trained Lunar Fox wasn't far away in the All Star Mile last weekend and if able to handle the quick back up he has to be included.
Rated 113 by Timeform, he does have to improve again, but he showed last start that the Australian Guineas win was no fluke.
Not far behind them on weight adjusted Timeform ratings is accomplished wet track gallopers Avilius and Funstar who both get elevated to the head of the assessments on the assumption the Rosehill surface will be significantly rain affected.
Avilius has not greeted the judge first for well over 12 months and is better renown over longer, but the fact trainer James Cummings is keeping him to a middle distance with blinkers off, bears respect.
Avilius has a last start Timeform rating of 121 and will be second up today after coming off an impressive first up fast closing third behind Verry Elleegant the Chipping Norton Stakes over 1600m three weeks back.
With some improvement to come off that figure Avilius looks a strong prospect, the only slight concern is the 100, drop back in trip however that could be offset by the prospect of a fast tempo.
Handy mare Funstar also comes off the Chipping Norton Stakes where she finished a close up fourth returning her best Timeform rating in 12 months.
Last campaign she was runner up to Probabeel in the Epsom Handicap over the Randwick "mile". A repeat of that effort puts her in the frame.
It is difficult to ignore Arcadia Queen but a wet track combined with her recent feet issues does cause concern, while Kolding is capable of getting into the finish despite his best form being on top of the ground.
Talented Godolpin mare Tailleur comes off easier back to wins to tackle her toughest assignment to date in the Group One Galaxy.
Last start she scored narrowly in the Triscay Stakes over 1200m but takes a significant step up in class in the Galaxy.
That said, under the handicap conditions, she does rate well on weight adjusted Timeform ratings and the anticipated fast early pace is sure to play into her hands over the final stages.
Cummings has given the mare a soft trial at Kembla following her Triscay win 35 days ago so there should be no issue with fitness.
Joe Pride has consistent sprinter Eduardo racing in career best form, his last start win in the Challenge defeating Lightning Stakes winner Nature Strip is a decent piece of form and the gelding revels in soft ground.
Chris Waller obviously has Haut Brion Her set for a big effort first up.
The talented sprinting are came a long way last campaign with a fifth placing in the Everest and subsequently runner up to Gytrash.
Waller has primed the mare for a big run fresh up with two easy wins in recent barrier trials and the likelihood of a wet track should hold no fears.