The £1.8million Golden Slipper is the feature event on a fantastic card at Rosehill on Saturday that includes five Group One races.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation had a poor year in 2014 but are out in force this weekend. As well as having four runners in the main event, they also hold Group 1 hopes with Contributer and Sweynesse elsewhere on the card.
The famous blue silks will be carried by Exosphere in the Slipper along with Haptic, Ottoman and Furnaces. Exosphere has been the horse for money this week and will start from barrier ten under James McDonald. He was a brilliant four-length winner of the Skyline Stakes last month and looks the pick of the Godolphin quartet.
The best of the rest may be Furnaces who starts from the lucky barrier one, responsible for three of the last six winners of the race. British interest is supplied by three of our leading jockeys. James Doyle will ride Haptic with William Buick aboard Ottoman while Ryan Moore has picked up the ride on big outsider Odyssey Moon.
The biggest danger to Exosphere could come from the favourite Vancouver, bidding to give Gai Waterhouse her sixth Golden Slipper. His chances took a knock when he was drawn in barrier 18, although he could start from 15 if both emergencies fail to get a run. Only one horse has won from barrier 15 in the last 32 years and that hands an advantage to Exosphere in barrier 10.
Vancouver remains unbeaten after three starts and was particularly impressive in the Group 2 Todman Stakes. Waterhouse also saddles English and Speak Fondly in the race, drawn six and twelve respectively. English will be ridden by Blake Shinn and won the Group 2 Reisling Stakes last time while Damien Oliver partners last Saturday’s Group 2 Magic Night Stakes winner Speak Fondly.
Godolphin could claim further Group 1 success with Contributer in the Ranvet Stakes. He won a handicap at Royal Ascot last summer but has already claimed Group 2 and Group 1 wins in Australia, taking the Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm last month. Sweynesse is strongly fancied to win the Rosehill Guineas in the same colours. He needs to reverse form with market rival Hallowed Crown from the Hobartville Stakes last month where the pair were separated by a head.
Race 4 – Contributer @2.30 Sportsbet*
Race 5 – Sweynesse @2.70 Sportsbet
Race 7 – Exosphere @4.00 Sportsbet
*Sportsbet special offer – money back as a free bet if your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th in any of the first four races at Rosehill on Saturday. First bet only (max. $100 per customer).