Star gallopers stepping out in Sydney
Several of the best performed horses in Australia, including champion mare More Joyous and 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, will step out at the top grade race program at Rosehill on Saturday 7 April.
And that's aside from the top class two-year-olds contesting the A$3.5 million Golden Slipper for which the Mick Price trained filly Samaready has been at the top of the betting charts for the past two months.
Price says his filly , unbeaten in four starts including the number two ranked juvenile race in Australia - the Blue Diamond Stakes -, has a 'big motor' and has done well since her win in the Riesling Stakes, at her first run right-handed, on 24 March. “There’s a big V8 Motor in that little filly,” he said immediately after that win.
He later joked that his fellow trainers at his Caulfield base in Melbourne had said to him that all he had to do was 'keep the filly breathing' in order to win the Slipper.
'It won't be that simple,' he said,'the opposition is gaining strength all the time but record is faultless, she's pleasing me and her jockey (Craig Newitt) thinks she might be even be better going to the reverse way (right-handed).'
Samaready is striving to join Bounding Away (1986) and Courtza (1989) as the only fillies to complete the Blue Diamond-Golden Slipper double.
Among her rivals will be Queensland filly Doubtfilly whose connections have taken a huge gamble by paying the A$150,000 late entry fee to secure a start and that's about eight times more than the price they paid for her as a yearling.
Trainer Stuart Kendrick concedes the economics of his decision don't make much sense. 'If a financial adviser was involved in something like this I'm sure it would be far from an ideal scenario," Kendrick, who trains from Mackay in central Queensland, said. 'But it's more of a heart thing than a head thing. When you buy horses in my price range there are no guarantees you are going to get one good enough again to ever get close to running in a Golden Slipper.'
Gerald Mosse will fly in from Hong Kong to ride Americain in the A$2.25 million BMW and the horse is in 'good shape' according to his trainer, the one time Hong Kong based, David Hayes.
'He hasn’t missed a beat,' Hayes said, 'he ran very well in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and is now ready for the mile and a half (2400m)."
Fans will also look forward to the appearance of More Joyous in the A$400,000 Queen Of The Turf Stakes as she seeks her 17th career win at just her 24th start. The More Than Ready five-year-old resumed after a five month spell to win the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes over 1300m at Rosehill on 24 March.
More Joyous won the Queen Of The Turf last year after also having won the Canterbury Stakes. She has won 13 of her 15 starts in Sydney on tracks rated from good to slow.