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Hawk’s George Ryder Stakes/Rosehill Guineas Day Selections

March 29, 2014

Racing’s been good in Sydney this autumn, but it really starts to move a notch today with the running of the George Ryder Stakes and the Rosehill Guineas – on the same program for the first time.

To be honest, as someone who now spends more time focusing on Hong Kong racing, most of my attention this week has been on Dubai World Cup day. If you are having a bet tonight at Meydan, read my in-depth preview for your guide on who you should be backing!

But that’s not to detract from Rosehill’s strong card at all. There is plenty of depth to the card, although it is a bit of a shame it’s marred by a Heavy (9) track.

Here, I’ve provided my selections for all races on the card, while also providing my summary of the three Group 1 races at Rosehill.

Best of luck!

Race 1 – GROUP 3 N E MANION CUP (2400m)

3 – OPINION
6 – THE OFFER
4 – GONDOKORO
7 – DESERT JEUNEY

Race 2 – GROUP 2 PAGO PAGO STAKES (1200m)

9 – WILDERNESS
3 – KUMAON
5 – TIME FOR WAR
1 – MR CHA CHA

Race 3 – GROUP 3 BIRTHDAY CARD STAKES (1200m)

5 – PLUCKY BELLE
3 – AVOID LIGHTNING
2 – AEROBATICS
8 – SINGLE STYLE

Race 4 – GROUP 2 MAGIC NIGHT STAKES (1200m)

6 – DONELLE
1 – PEGGY JEAN
4 – PRESS REPORT
5 – TETSUKO

Race 5 – LISTED DARBY MUNRO STAKES (1200m)

3 – BOSS LANE
1 – SIDESTEP
2 – FAST ‘N’ ROCKING
4 – BOUND FOR EARTH

Race 6 – GROUP 1 THE GALAXY (1100m)

The heavy track is a major factor here, and it has changed the way I look at this race completely.

Forget his two horrible runs this preparation – if RAIN AFFAIR is ever to win a Group 1, it is here. He gets his favoured wet conditions – he’s won two from three on a heavy track, while his record is seven from eight on all wet tracks. He’ll be out in front and he’ll prove hard to run down. I think he gets his Group 1 here.

I think the filly down the bottom ANATINA will prove value. She was very good first up down the straight, and she showed her liking for a heavy track when winning a clockwise race at Ballarat in November. It’s obviousl a step up here but I think she can surprise a few people.

The last two winners of the race, TEMPLE OF BOOM and BEL SPRINTER, are both chances of making it two wins in the race, while TIGER TEES could be some chance in the wet.

4 – RAIN AFFAIR
14 – ANATINA
6 – TEMPLE OF BOOM
1 – BEL SPRINTER

Race 7 – GROUP 1 GEORGE RYDER STAKES (1500m)

When the new carnival was first announced, one thing which seemed wrong to me was the fact this race was moved from Golden Slipper day to Rosehill Guineas day. I always loved the place it had on Golden Slipper day, almost like it was an indication where the Slipper runners would be in a year or two (coincidentally, of this year’s field, none of them were Slipper runners – and only Streama was really on a Slipper path).

But I think it is better placed here, anyway, regardless of the fact the move was to ensure there was a two week gap into the Doncaster Mile. It’s now more George Ryder Stakes day, rather than Rosehill Guineas day, and the program looks far stronger than it did when I last was at Rosehill on this day in 2011.

Onto the race, and it’s a top race indeed. Very open, but every horse could legitimately win the race without surprising. It’s just a shame it’s been marred by a wet track.

I’m going to start with a horse that I’ve left out of my selections in BOBAN. I think if this was a good track, it would be his race. But he has failed twice on a slow track, but once was on debut while the other was a disappointing performance in the Queensland Guineas. He may handle a heavy track, but on the balance of probabilities, he’s a definite risk and I’m happy to bet around him.

I was happy to stick with one of his stablemates in SACRED FALLS. He’s a decent horse without being outstanding, but he gets through the heavy ground with no qualms whatsoever. Last time he struck a heavy track, he won the Doncaster, so I’m sure connections are continuing to do a rain dance. I didn’t think he was too bad at all fresh in the Canterbury Stakes, and I think the key booking of Zac Purton is a masterstroke. Big chance.

I’m still trying to figure out how GORDON LORD BYRON is 20/1. The Irish invader is a Group 1 winner on a heavy track who has contested some of the world’s best sprint/mile races. His last start fourth behind Glorious Days in the Hong Kong Mile was good enough for this race, and the wet track only helps his claims. Huge overs and well worth a bet.

I think EUROZONE is drawn to get the right run, but a tough 1500m is a query with him, while RED TRACER is a duck racing better than ever and so she has to go in. Next best Boban and EL ROCA.

4 – SACRED FALLS
2 – GORDON LORD BYRON
15 – EUROZONE
12 – RED TRACER

Race 8 – GROUP 1 ROSEHILL GUINEAS (2000m)

The main Derby lead-up, and I think it’s safe to say I’m more confused than I’ve ever been before about the three-year-old classics.

However, I’m happy to stick with New Zealand Derby winner PUCCINI. He’s won his last three, and he’s been more impressive each time. Race fitness may prove crucial here, in what could be a slogfest, so he must rate as a top chance if he get through the mud.

I’m expecting SAVVY NATURE to run an improved race, he was a little bit flat in the Randwick Guineas but his first up run in the Hobartville Stakes was great. I think 2000m is his trip and I’d be disappointed if he’s not in the finish.

I think TERONADO looks to be heading in the right direction as he prepares for the Derby and he looks to enjoy a wet track, while I can’t discount SHOW THE WORLD who is bred to handle the wet.

Next best SHAMUS AWARD – it feels almost remiss leaving a Cox Plate winner out over 2000m against his age group, but I’m happy to go against him.

4 – PUCCINI
5 – SAVVY NATURE
9 – TERONADO
15 – SHOW THE WORLD

Race 9 – GROUP 3 PERCY SYKES TRIBUTE STAKES (1900m)

1 – EPINGLE
13 – KNEAD THE DOUGH
3 – SCORPIO QUEEN
15 – QUAYSIDE

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