Never did a Golden Slipper program promise so little as 2022 yet produce so much, and Saturday’s Rosehill Gardens offering, headed by the Tancred Stakes with worthwhile supports, is set to continue the trend.
Again, fillies and mares could dominate with She’s Ideal and Duais looking strong for the Tancred, Australia’s only 2400-metre group one weight-for-age event, spiced by the opposition, including the US bred and internationally acclaimed Spanish Mission, now based in Melbourne with Peter Moody.
No doubt the Vinery, for three-year-old fillies at the elite level, is another feature with Gypsy Goddess, from Queensland, unbeaten in five attempts, taking on the tantalising factor of deciding which of Chris Waller’s trio is the best: Hinged, Fangirl and Pretty Amazing.
On the human front Jamie Kah, fresh from brilliance in the south, adds her special touch to Sydney jockey strength that has never been stronger with Willie Pike, from the West, taking on the local cream with lesser lights like Brenton Avdulla and Sam Clipperton, both seen to advantage last Saturday, particularly Avdulla, successful on the filly Fireburn in a Golden Slipper that initially looked lacklustre yet dazzled on the Rosehill heavy.
Perhaps it was rain affected but then most recent Golden Slippers have been since 2016. Fireburn and Avdulla were outstanding but other highlights figured: Montefilia, developed even stronger by David Paine taking the Ranvet fair-and-square from the great mare, Verry Elleegant, and Forbidden Love being too good beating Colette, another mare, in the Ryder. Before Winx, the Ryder was regarded as being too tough for female horses.
Yes, Anamoe captured the Rosehill Guineas but without filly opposition. Sure, Shelby Sixtysix headlined to give some substance to colts and geldings with his Galaxy triumph.
However, apart from Anamoe, a storm trooper for Godolphin, the lesser lights, salt of the turf like Goulburn’s Danny Williams, trainer of Shelby Sixtysix, starred.
Up close and personal with his equine responsibilities, Williams buys Salvation Army blankets to keep them warm in winter, small investments for lucrative results like Fireburn, by Rebel Dane, who had a service fee of $8800, more the outlay of a polo pony stallion than the sire of an Easter yearling sale topper.
Until recent years the Tancred shared top billing on Golden Slipper day but was switched to a stand-alone, leaving a gap between the Rosehill major and the Royal Randwick autumn, contributing to what many figure is an anti-climax.