Race Day Review - Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens

Published: 05 Apr 2014

It was an emotional day at Rosehill Gardens for the world’s richest two-year old race, the Golden Slipper. A tribute for Nathan Berry just prior to the first big Group 1, The BMW, drew a huge audience into the stadiums, grassed areas and mounting yard to pay respects to a dedicated young man who loved his family and profession. Tommy Berry wore the white pants of his twin brother Nathan for each of the races he competed in. The written initials "NJB" along his thigh made it clear that on this day, above all days, he was riding with his brother in the saddle.

Friends, family, fellow riders and the media gathered in the mounting yard for a tribute to Nathan Berry

On the tack, the main events were taken out by fit, genuine and well-trained fillies and mares. Mossfun's win in the Golden Slipper was truly exceptional. While much was made of the daring ride by James McDonald to stay near the rails, which was an 'A+' on any report card, the effort of the filly herself deserves the most credit. The long and determined run she made to win was a moment that really sent tingles up the spine. Most horses would shirk the task, or get 'lost' when that far from the pack, but this tough daughter of Mossman is made of sterner stuff. Earthquake (2nd) was not disgraced and is clearly a very classy two-year old. As for Bring Me The Maid (3rd) and Believe Yourself (4th), they were two of the smallest in the field, proving without doubt that the lighter and more athletic fillies were more than a match for the bigger and stronger colts and geldings. The first boy home was Ghibellines in 8th.

James McDonald returns victorious on the brave filly Mossfun

The BMW was won by the equally genuine mare Silent Achiever. The combination of some extra strength this preparation, the addition of blinkers and Nash Rawiller in the saddle have resulted in her being the dominant Weight For Age performer this Autumn. She looked immaculate in the yard and her next race will be a tough choice for NZ trainer Roger James, with either the Sydney Cup or Queen Elizabeth as options. The latter must now be very tempting given the huge prizemoney boost.

A race by race analysis of the day is provided below. The complete guide from your team at the track.

  • Rail: +4M (entire circuit)  
  • Conditions: HEAVY 8 
  • Weather: FINE (slightly overcast, with periods of sun, cooler towards the end of the day)
  • Bias: OFF RAILS (most jockeys aware of better ground, track evened out later in the day)



"Survival of the fittest in a tough slog home"

  1. BACHMAN (Gerald Ryan)
  2. SCRATCH ME LUCKY (Paul Perry) - 2.3 lengths
  3. VEUVELICIOUS (Brent Stanley) - 2.5 lengths

Bachman kept on well to the line as others tired

In the yard (@theraceguide)

BACHMAN and SCRATCH ME LUCKY looked to be in great shape in the yard, with more strength than many of the other two year olds. SPICY SURE was a bit keen and hot.

In the running

Some early pressure and keen young horses, with SPICY SURE, GIULANI, DOUBLE HAPPY and TASHBEEH making a line of four leaders at point of the race. A GOOD TEMPO was set up.

The result

After a great ride from the back from Nash Rawiller, BACHMAN swept home to score a decisive victory. SCRATCH ME LUCKY (2nd - 2.3 lengths) had hit the front early in the straight and performed well, while VEUVELICIOUS (3rd - 2.5 lengths) kept on strongly late as other horses tired. 

The interest

Given the tough conditions, the winner did well to put a clear margin on the field. He was impressive and looks a horse to follow. The jockeys would probably be the first to admit they went a little too hard early though, especially considering the track was at its most rain affected in the back straight. On that score, the performances of DOUBLE HAPPY and TASHBEEH were not as bad as they look on paper.

  • Follow BACHMAN



"An impressive finishing surge from a stayer in form"

  1. JUNOOB (Chris Waller)
  2. HIPPOPUS (Gai Waterhouse) - 0.2 lengths
  3. LUCKY LAGO (John O'Shea) - 0.7 lengths

 Junoob didn't seem to have a chance at the 200m, until his superior finishing strength kicked in

In the yard (@theraceguide)

JUNOOB and ENTIRELY PLATINUM looked very well in the yard again. LESS IS MORE was a bit keen in the yard, sweating up slightly and JULIENAS was still carrying some condition and hadn't reached fill fitness yet.

In the running

SPILLWAY and MALUCKYDAY were a bit slow to begin and WINNING GLORY was ridden back this time, an interesting choice given he appears to be very one-paced. JULIENAS set an EVEN TEMPO in front with the two favourites ENTIRELY PLATINUM and JUNOOB in second and third.

The result

JUNOOB (1st) looked to be struggling 200m from home, but kept lifting to the line and just got there. HIPPOPUS (2nd - 0.2 lengths) made his run with the winner and ran home well, as did LACKY LAGO (3rd - 0.7 lengths) after being ridden very quietly at the back. ENTIRELY PLATINUM (4th - 1.0 length) looked to be a clear winner at the 150m, but got the wobbles late.  

The interest

The Waller trained JUNOOB is in career best form currently and could be competitive in a higher grade, with most agreeing he is more effective on dry ground. ENTIRELY PLATINUM put in a great performance also, with the wet track looking to have played its part in the leggy and athletic geldings defeat. He cruised to the front, but just didn't let down as well as he usually does when asked. SPILLWAY was slightly awkward in the run home for his first attempt in Sydney, and MALUCKYDAY was strong to the line again, he just seems to lack any acceleration these days. 

  • Forgive SPILLWAY


Race 3 SEBRING STAKES (3YO&UP) - 1200m

"Best in the yard and the quickest to jump, Flamberge is too hot for the snitzel"

  1. FLAMBERGE (Peter G Moody) 
  2. HOT SNITZEL (Gerald Ryan) - 0.2 lengths
  3. BENNETTA (Grahame Begg) - 2.2 lengths

Flamberge had fitness on his side in the final 100m battle with Hot Snitzel

In the yard (@theraceguide)

FLAMBERGE was the clear pick of the yard, with a beautiful glow to his coat and great muscle tone. HOT SNITZEL was just a tiny bit fresh, but there were no real negatives to report.

In the running

FLAMBERGE jumped brilliantly and settled in the lead, setting up an EVEN TEMPO. LILLIBURLERO (rails) and THAT'S A GOOD IDEA (three wide and no cover) were in close attendance, and HOT SNITZEL had a beautiful trail up in fourth. 

The result

FLAMBERGE (1st) kicked back after being headed by HOT SNITZEL (2nd - 0.2 lengths) in the straight. BENNETTA (3rd - 2.2 lengths) produced an impressive first-up run to come home from midfield.

The interest

A couple of horses went around here who have been in great form on dryer tracks and could be forgiven, namely LILLIBURLERO and THAT'S A GOOD IDEA. Even though he was wide, the big margin to the latter horse means it will take some bravery to follow up on him next time. FLAMBERGE and HOT SNITZEL did everything right and put a margin on the rest of the pack, which was headed by classy mare BENNETTA, who produced a great first-up run. 




"The grey 'Cat' shows she is one of the better mares going around"

  1. CATKINS (Chris Waller)
  2. SHARNEE ROSE (Kris Lees) - 1.5 lengths
  3. ANGEL OF MERCY (Gerald Ryan) - 1.7 lengths

Catkins was well treated at the weights and won easily

In the yard (@theraceguide)

The mares behaved well in the yard, with CATKINS, FLORIA and VAQUERA all parading in good fashion. The latter seemed to have a little bit more spring in her step than usual. WISTFUL had carried a bit of condition in all her races this campaign and today was no different.

In the running

YOU'RE SO GOOD led with CATKINS just outside her. Both mares controlled the mid-section of the race and set up a SLOW TEMPO. 

The result

CATKINS (1st) was held together into the straight and then kicked away. SHARNEE ROSE (2nd - 1.5 lengths) made a sustained run home out wider, while ANGEL OF MERCY (3rd - 1.7 lengths) finished off well closer to the inside.  

The interest

CATKINS was just too classy and will now be primed for the Queen of the Turf in two weeks time. SHARNEE ROSE continues to run well and ANGEL OF MERCY ran on nicely after putting in some good performances during a period racing in Perth. The slow tempo made it difficult for a horse like DIAMOND DRILLE, who prefers to use her strength in races that are a bit more testing.  




“Sustained stamina from last to first"

  1. GALLATIN (Peter Snowden) 
  2. SINGING FLAME (Kevin Moses) - 0.2 lengths
  3. BEST CASE (Anthony Cummings) - 2.2 lengths 

Gallatin stayed on well right to the line to just win from a very brave Singing Flame

In the yard (@theraceguide)

A bit of a mix of colts and geldings on show. ATLANTE, SHIKRA, ORDER OF THE SUN and MOUNTAIN VIEW all paraded in good fashion. KOROIBETE got quite hot in the yard and HIGH TEC looked an inferior type against some bigger and stronger three year olds.

In the running

ATLANTE rolled to the front from ORDER OF THE SUN, setting up a GOOD TEMPO. SINGING FLAME was stuck wide and without cover for most of the race, while GALLATIN settled at the tail of the field.

The result

GALLATIN (1st) swept home in the last 200m with a very strong finish. SINGING FLAME (2nd - 0.2 lengths) had hit the front early in straight and battled on very bravely. BEST CASE put in a solid run (3rd - 2.2 lengths). 

The interest

ATLANTE just went too keenly in the blinkers and didn't seem to appreciate the wet surface either. Out of the leading group, SINGING FLAME's performance was by far the best and he looks like a Derby horse on "type" too. GALLATIN is a bit more of a powerful and compact horse, it looks like he will need to be ridden very quietly again if he is going to stay the 2400m Derby trip this Saturday. As for HIGH TEC, the form may look ok on paper, but he did look like a pony in the yard against some much stronger staying types. 

  • Forgive ATLANTE


Race 6 THE BMW (3YO&UP) - 2400m 

“The little kiwi mare outclasses our best again"

  1. SILENT ACHIEVER (Roger James)
  2. IT'S A DUNDEEL (Murray Baker) - 1.8 lengths
  3. FIORENTE (IRE) (Gai Waterhouse) - 2.0 lengths

Silent Achiever stayed on well right to the line, and Nash enjoyed it!

In the yard (@theraceguide)

SILENT ACHIEVER was the stand-out in the yard, parading in even better shape than the Ranvet Stakes two weeks ago. FIORENTE also looked well, as did FORETELLER. There was no knock on IT'S A DUNDEEL, a classy group of horses all round.

In the run

There didn't seem to be much pace in the small field of nine, however ANGOLA rolled along to ensure at least an EVEN TEMPO. SILENT ACHIEVER and FIORENTE settled midfield and IT'S A DUNDEEL just behind them at the back.

The result

The kiwi mare SILENT ACHIEVER cruised up with a nice trail and kicked away in the last 200m for a dominant win. IT'S A DUNDEEL (2nd - 1.8 lengths) ran home well down the outside, while FIORENTE (3rd - 2.0 lengths) was under riding a long way from home and battled on very bravely.  

The interest

IT'S A DUNDEEL started out a couple of lengths behind SILENT ACHIEVER at the top of the straight, and that is how it finished. All credit to the kiwi mare for holding her margin to the line. FIORENTE was hard fit for his first-up assignment and could be just about at the end of his preparation, despite another brave run. SERTORIUS raced well again and really is a reliable type. He doesn't look like a 3200m horse in the yard, so it will take every bit of his bravery to win the Sydney Cup if that is where he goes next. 




"A determined finish against the odds"

  1. LUCIA VALENTINA (Kris Lees) 
  2. SOLICIT (Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra) - 1.0 length
  3. FOREVER LOVED (Gai Waterhouse) - 6.0 lengths 

Little Lucia produced a stunning finishing burst

In the yard (@theraceguide)

The conditions were cooling nicely and the fillies were on very good behaviour. There were no clear stand-outs on looks, although SOLICIT and ZANBAGH were both impressive types. SUAVITO was quite hot and keen while she paraded.

In the run

SOLICIT rolled to the lead and stacked them up early, before marginally quickening, ensuring only a SLOW TEMPO (very slow at times). ZANBAGH found cover midfield three-wide, while LUCIA VALENTINA rolled along in last place. 

The result

LUCIA VALENTINA stuck closer to the inside as the field spread and put in a stunning finishing burst to catch SOLICIT (2nd - 1.0 lengths), who had kicked away at the top of the straight. There was a big margin back to the tiring FOREVER LOVED (3rd - 6.0 lengths).

The interest

The first two put a huge margin on the field, which was impressive given a slow tempo can produce a bunched finish. The effort of LUCIA VALENTINA to win was exceptional, coming from an almost hopeless position 600m from home to win. The other good Oaks trials came from those staying on well out wider on the track, including RISING ROMANCE, ZANBAGH (had the bar plates on) , MISSVONN and SUAVITO. It might be a race where the form isn't consistent, given the slow tempo and wet track. If you liked something for the Oaks and it didn't perform here, don't give up on it.




"Power and determination from the Mossman miss"

  1. MOSSFUN (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes) 
  2. EARTHQUAKE (Peter Snowden) - 0.8 lengths
  3. BRING ME THE MAID (Peter G Moody) - 1.8 lengths

Mossfun stuck to the rails and tried her heart out right to the line

In the yard (@theraceguide)

The field of two year olds looked primed for the race, with EARTHQUAKE, VALENTIA and OAKLEIGH GIRL all parading well. The latter had clearly done plenty of work in the lead up to the toughest of first-up assignments. Most were handling the occasion well, with the exception of JABALI, who looked unsettled and hot in the yard.

In the run

ELOPING had great natural pace to find the front and managed to settle well enough, setting up an EVEN TEMPO. EARTHQUAKE was ridden into second outside the leader and ALPHA MISS was unluckily stuck three wide with no cover. MOSSFUN settled back in the field on the rails after being a bit slow to begin. 

The result

MOSSFUN (1st) travelled well during the run, kept to the rails as the field spread and produced a sustained finishing burst. EARTHQUAKE (2nd - 0.8 lengths) kept on very well, while BRING ME THE MAID (3rd - 1.8 lengths) tried her heart out again. 

The interest

The class rose to the top in this race with the best two fillies filling the top spots. The colts and geldings on the other hand have a lot to answer for after some pretty poor performances. Some of the bigger colts really struggled on the heavy ground. BRING ME THE MAID and BELIEVE YOURSELF both ran fantastic races, but will need to develop into their three year old career to stay at this level. They were two of the smallest horses in the yard.




“Two progressive horses show their class"

  1. WEARY (Chris Waller)
  2. LEEBAZ (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes) - 0.8 lengths
  3. I'M IMPOSING (Chris Waller) - 2.8 lengths

Weary wore down Leebaz in the final run to the line

In the yard (@theraceguide)

A few nice horses in the yard. STRAWBERRY BOY, DESTINY'S KISS, I'M IMPOSING, RHYTHM TO SPARE and LEEBAZ all paraded nicely. WAZN didn't look like he was primed for this first up assignment and KAYPERS appeared to have some improvement to come.

In the run

LEEBAZ rolled to the front set up an EVEN TEMPO that gradually increased as he set up a three length margin at the top of the home straight.  STRAWBERRY BOY trailed up in second, with WEARY taking up a much more forward position this time in third.

The result

WEARY chased hard down the straight to ware down the leader LEEBAZ (2nd - 0.8 lengths). I'M IMPOSING let down well from near midfield to run into a place, but was no match (3rd - 2.8 lengths).

The interest

The clear margin suggests the first two horses are the ones to follow at similar distances in the future. The middle-distance horses I'M IMPOSING and DESTINY'S KISS both resumed in great fashion and look to be betting prospects as the distances increase. KAYPERS was genuine to the line and could bob up into a place again soon, while WAZN didn't look ready for this race and will improve dramatically.

  • Forgive WAZN


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