It’s the world’s richest race for two-year-old horses, and the 2023 Golden Slipper at Rosehill is set to be as hotly contested as ever, with a wide-open field headlined by a Godolphin star.
A who’s who of Aussie celebrities, from David and Candice Warner to Rachel Griffiths and Sonja Kruger, will be dressed in their finest to enjoy the action on and off the track.
It might just be the best Slipper field seen in many years, and Bet Right’s market has Cylinder ($4) as favourite, ahead of Learning to Fly ($6.50) and King’s Gambit ($9.50).
It’s set to be a hotly run race, with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Red Resistance ($10) the main danger to the favourite if Brett Prebble can control the speed up front and continue the colt’s brilliant start to his career.
But it’s top Sydney jockey James McDonald’s mount Cylinder that has set tongues wagging in racing circles.
Brenton Avdulla celebrates winning last year’s Golden Slipper on Fireburn
The Group 1 race is the richest in the world for two-year-old horses
A who’s who of Aussie celebrities, such as David and Candice Warner (pictured attending in 2021) will head to Rosehill to enjoy the action on and off the track
Bet Right CEO Anthony Waller says the company has seen huge support for the James Cummings-trained race favourite in their Golden Slipper market.
‘The Goldolphin Colt, Cylinder, is the current favourite with Bet Right and we have written some big bets at $9 in our futures book,’ he said.
‘He has been well backed by our clients into $4 and has won the two major lead-up races – The Silver Slipper and The Todman.
‘James McDonald now being able to ride is a big plus.’
And ‘J-Mac’ – who won the Golden Slipper in 2014 aboard Mossfun – could not be any more confident about his mount this time around.
‘I believe I haven’t gone into a Golden Slipper in my time with a better chance than Cylinder,’ the seven-time NSW Metropolitan Jockeys champion told the Daily Telegraph.
‘With Cylinder, I know he does everything right, nothing fazes him and he makes it look pretty easy.
‘He puts himself into a good spot, doesn’t pull, keeps things simple, runs straight and has a great turn of foot.
‘I would call Cylinder the ultimate professional two-year-old and the barrier [three] is perfect. I’m confident I’m on the one to beat,’ said McDonald.
James McDonald says his Golden Slipper mount, Cylinder (pictured winning the Todman Stakes on March 4), is the best he’s ever had
Waller said three runners at brilliant value that are interesting top bettors.
‘There have been three horses that have generated good support from Bet Right’s pro punters; and although they have firmed, they are all still at juicy double figure odds,’ he said.
‘The Ben Hayes-trained Little Brose, winner of the Blue Diamond, continues to firm. We opened at $15, and our clients launched in and he currently at $10.
‘There has also been good support for the Chris Waller-trained Shinzo: we have taken bets at $26, and he is currently $15.
‘Platinum Jubilee from the Waterhouse-Bott yard is another that Bet Right’s pro punters want to be on. We opened at $21 and she is now at $15.’
As per usual, though, the two-year-old race is very open, and Waller is keen to make sure punters can back both horses at the top of the market.
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s horse, Platinum Jubilee, has seen strong support from punters at juicy odds
‘The unbeaten Annabel Neasham trained Learning To Fly is currently second favourite at $6.50,’ he said.
‘As a service to our clients we will be looking to be best price both Cylinder and Learning to Fly on Saturday.’
Of course the Golden Slipper is just one of four Group 1 races at Rosehill on Saturday, with the Ranvet, Galaxy and George Ryder Stakes all presenting fans with salivating racing viewing.
In the Ranvet, a star-studded eight horse field is headlined by last year’s Melbourne Cup winner, Gold Trip ($4.20) – but Neasham’s stallion Mo’unga ($4.20) looks finally set to nab his first win since taking out the Group 1 Winx Stakes way back in August 2021.
He’s been measuring up to Anamoe pretty decently in his last six runs, and may well go forward along with Hinged ($6) and give them something to catch in what is a very tricky betting race.
James McDonald (left) and trainer James Cummings (right) combined with superstar colt Anamoe to win the Chipping Norton on February 25, and they will once again be stars of the shoe in the Group 1 George Ryder on Saturday
Speaking of Anamoe ($1.70), it’s all about ‘JMac’ peeling away down the straight in the Godolphin Blue in the George Ryder. Even if he gets caught four-wide without cover, it’s hard to see the James Cummings-trained superstar getting beat.
An exacta with Artorius ($7, $1.95 place), who finished with a sizzling sectional while winning the Canterbury Stakes last start, might be the exotic to get behind.
The Galaxy is a wide open race in what is set to be a race with big speed set by Eduardo ($8.50) and Zoustyle ($9.50).
Shades of Rose ($10) is brilliant value at a track she absolutely loves (six races, four wins). She’s shown brilliant trial form of late and think Rachel King can get her in the right spot from barrier 10.
Gates will fly back on the first race at 12.10pm, and you can get all the best odds all raceday at betright.com.au.
Odds correct as of 5pm, March 16.