Thursday, April 2, 2009


Last year's Golden Slipper was bittersweet for me; as well as backing the third-placed Portillo, I ended up backing the winner Sebring, but like everybody else, had to endure another fist-pumpin', whip crackin', yahooin', Group 1 Boss-a-thon. Oh the humanity...

This year, you should prepare yourself just in case Headway gets up. I can't stress this enough: be prepared. The man wins a lot of Group 1's so don't get caught off guard by a screenful of over-excited Boss:

Professor's Trackwatch: I'd assume a dead to slow surface. The rain has likely stopped, but there was a lot of it!

Without further ado, here's a look at the 2009 Golden Slipper field.

1. Real Saga (13) $3.50

Captain: If he gets a clear run and a heads up ride from Oliver, I think he wins. In the Blue Diamond, Oliver sat miles back and let Reward For Effort stroll to victory up front, on a track clearly favouring leaders. Apparently the horse "does not have early speed". That's all well and good, but you can't tell me he couldn't have had him closer at the turn. The BD 2nd placing was his only defeat in his 5 starts. I love the fact that he has had a run between the BD and Slipper. Can he handle it if it's wet? I reckon 3/3 on the dead says he can. Don't think Oliver will be caught napping again and I think he'll be too good.

Professor: If I was going to take either of the two hype horses in this, Real Saga would most certainly be the one. But there are a lot of reasons to look a little deeper in this field. For one, I am always loathe to back a drop out horse in a Golden Slipper. But most importantly to me, in its first start in the wet against elite opposition and paying $3.50, you've got to have faith I guess.

JB: Plenty of class, plenty of people with their wallets riding on this horse. Bookies will be upset if this gets up and you too if you're stuck behind some dumbshit blonde with $2 place bet who has no idea what she's doing and the dueshebag shes with in his grey pinstrip suit with a pink shirt is waving his $3 win ticket in the air talking like he's the fucking king of the track, while you're trying to get your next bet on for the Kembla - we've all been there. If you want to take this horse put your balls out there so your not mistaken for the blonde or the dueshebag.

2. Reward For Effort (3) $11

Captain: Showed a nice turn of foot in the Blue Diamond, but I see Real Saga turning the tables on him here. Not just because Reward For Effort was helped by a typical Caulfield track favouring leaders all day, but I'm always wary of a horse coming to Sydney for the first time right after a BD win. There have been some spectacular failures in recent years from BD winners such as Undoubtedly, Sleek Chassis and Reaan, all of which were trained specifically to win the BD. Combined, they beat home two horses in the Slipper. Is the Slipper an afterthought for this guy as well? That's what concerns me.

Professor: It will go to the front, which is never a bad thing. It has shown the class to win this kind of race. This is also good. But yeah, the Blue Diamond is a pretty poor guide to this race and I'll be looking elsewhere.

JB: I'm not going to say that this horse will come last but I don't think the travelled punter will like any horse first time going to Sydney for something like the Golden Slipper. Not expecting the rewards for effort this weekend.

3. Manhattan Rain (5) $11

Captain: The Professor is all over this one because of an extremely vague connection to "Chubby Rain" (see Bowfinger). For those of you who haven't seen it, the rain is "chubby" because aliens are in the raindrops. I'm more of a Fake Purse Ninja fan myself. Has flown under the radar with More Joyous also in the Waterhouse camp. Has good speed and looks like he's in with a shot, and on closer reflection I have a favourite and roughies...I need something around the $11 mark for the multiples.

Professor: There is more to this love affair than the enjoyment I get calling for Chubby Rain. To me, this horse fits the Slipper winning profile better than most. When I look at the profile of recent winners, a couple of things jump out. 5 of the last 7 winners have turned in the top four. The two outliers, pretty special horses in Sebring and Miss Finland. For the Gents, the Skyline Stakes (3 weeks before the Slipper) has been the Bellweather race and like Dance Hero, Manhattan Rain lead in it from pillar to post. To me, it's not just the best value in the field but the best horse. I see Dance Hero upside in this colt.

JB: Multiples, for sure, sole win ticket with this guys name on it, not likely. If you listen to the Prof then this guy is at least a good hedge for many of you. I probably won't be tempted by this guy but not to say you shouldn't and if anything probably worth a few bob on it so as not to have to let the professor be alone when shouting out for some chubby rain.

4. Delago Bolt (1) $21

Captain: Don't think he'll be good enough. Winning in 1 min 13.1 on a good track, at this venue and over 1200m two starts back leaves me less than enthusiastic. I'm also inclined to leave out Black Opal form. Unable to place on a dead track. Ol' jailbird Munce on board. 1 min 13.1. Do I need to go on? $21, triple that and I'll have a look.

Professor: I am only worried about times when a horse is an on-pace type. Winning from the back in 1:13:1 is a pretty tough ask considering how cheap the on-pacers were clearly doing it.
In saying that, probably not at $21 but at $40 yes. So, we'll see if $40 is available on Saturday.

JB: The call is in, look for large odds. Probably wouldn't even have a taste at even the longer odds.

5. Wanted (8) $51

Captain: It would be hard to see him turning the tables on Real Saga. And there are other chances in the race besides Real Saga. So that's a no for him winning but: "I'm a cowboy...on a steel horse I ride...I'm Wanted...dead or alive...". I'll leave this one for all the Bon Jovi diehards out Rosehill way.

Professor: When I saw the run in the Kindergarten Stakes I was massively impressed with this one. Maybe something went wrong in the Tod-man. I'd give it a chance in the dry, but we've seen in the wet, and it couldn't swim.

JB: Not wanted in this direction. But like a midget at a urinal you have to stay on your toes, watch for this clown to sink about 600 to go blocking the run for a few behind it.

6. Phelan Ready (18) $26

Captain: I have a bit of time for this guy. Stormed home to win the Magic Millions over a filly who had been trouncing all comers (including himself) in Paprika. That's 2.y.o racing I guess. Ran on okay behind Real Saga in the Todman at his first start since the Millions, so there is likely some improvement there. He is presumably being set for the Sires/Champagne, so at the very least, he'll be strong at the line. Outside gate won't help, but if the pace is hot, expect him to be storming home at good odds.

Professor: I was quite astounded watching this thing storm home in the Magic Millions. I put a whopping bet on Paprika that day. That is the last time I take a 2 y.o. in a big race at under $5. Basically that's why I'm not touching the top two here.

JB: At $26 plenty to nibble on. Look to place and make you a few quid on the sly.

7. Zikmann (15) $301

Captain: I won't be trackside to nude up if this guy somehow wins, but I will run nude from Brisbane to Rosehill for charity. The Captain's Brisbane to Rosehill Nude Charity Run for Kids Who Can't Read Good and I'll even pull the whip down the Rosehill straight!

Professor: I'll be trackside to watch the Captain get molested by half of the Sydney Western Suburbs. Fantastic.

JB: I'll be far far far away from any Captain nude run, but not as far away as I am from betting on this horse.

8. More Joyous (12) $3.80

Captain: "Boom Boom, Shake Shake the Room...Tick Tick Tick Tick Boom!". Your annual Slipper boom horse. Certainly not saying she can't win but I'd choose Real Saga over her without thinking twice. Think she is still a massive risk of doing something wrong. An outside draw probably not ideal for her either. I'm going to boldly leave her out.

Professor: I'm with the Captain on this one - I'm leaving this one out. It's quite a tough call though, it was a pretty solid run in the Ilasik. Has never run a time that suggest that she is as good as the press clippings. I wouldn't be surprised if it comes third out of the Waterhouse tilt.

JB: See comments for Real Saga but if this is your style of betting then listen up and just put your money on Real Saga already.

9. Rostova (9) $7

Captain: I would suggest that she is looking for further than the 1200m. Obviously being aimed at the Sires/Champagne double as well, I think she is way too short here. Not convinced of what she's beat at her wins and was soundly beaten in the BD. $7... I am definitely looking elsewhere.

Professor: Has the unmistakable hype about her as the best Victorian horse in the field. Undeniable quality but not the best value in this field.

JB: Will be a horse to look out for. The $7 odds are more of a turn off than a he-she with bad breath and a moustache - although the Professor has been caught out before, don't be fooled here!

10. Melito (11) $21

Captain: Really had every chance to beat More Joyous in the Ilisak but was found wanting. Considering I'm not sold on More Joyous, I will be saving my cash for others.

Professor: This one failed to impress me in the Ilasik. I'll pass as I think there are better horses at better prices.

JB: Not too many races leave you thinking that no matter the rub of the green this horse had nothing to say that it could do better. Melito is one of these horses, it stared destiny down the straight and was found wanting.

11. Indian Ocean (2) $26

Captain: The first of the runners trying to win this off a one week backup. Horses that are running one week out from the Slipper are horses who need to win to guarantee a start. It is not an ideal preparation. Don't think she's up to it, but in saying that, her form is hard to gauge. I'll leave her out.

Professor: I prefer Marquardt, Headway and Horizons at better odds. It's had a win on the slow, so that's a plus.

JB: Inside barrier and at $26. Has the makings of a loose bet come 5min to jump. Stay strong, trust your instinct and leave this in multiples at best.

12. Headway (6) $31

Captain: "But it's Headway, well clear for Boss, and Headway wins the Golden Slipper!". You can smell the salty smell of Bossy's tears already. You can feel the jubilation in every fist pump and whip crack. Cop that you asshole Sydney trainers and owners! Considering that the Bossman wins a fuckload of Group 1's and Headway has won three on the trot, what are you waiting for? Get on that $31, get on that shit. The form looks alright and that price is oh so fine. Just remember to be prepared; Boss had to move to Melbourne recently to get rides after repeated snubbings from Sydney trainers, so expect an emotional rollercoaster as he gets his revenge!

Who's the Boss, bitches?

Professor: Yep, what the Captain said. You know, this is a BIG chance. I haven't seen this horse do anything but run brilliantly. Look, it fell in a bit in the Sweet Embrace. But the win prior to that had a bit of quality. I personally think that Horizons is better, particularly with a little sting out of the ground, but I'm looking pretty hard at this one.

JB: $31, a real chance take it and buy yourself a bottle of track bubbly to drown out whatever dribble Boss goes on with.

13. Our Joan Of Arc (14) $41

Captain: This horse seems to have been around since her namesake. I thought she was at least a 4.y.o already. Anyway, I'm not sure how this bookmaking thing works, but she was comfortably beaten by Wanted, drew a wider gate for this, but is $10 shorter. It doesn't make sense people. Pass.

Professor: Conspiracy theory: I've watched all of this horses races on the internet in the last hour (I have a kickass job!). Since qualifying for the Slipper in December with some utterly fantastic runs, this horse has not been whipped, prodded or nudged. It has been given back-rubs and sat around eating ice cream. Clarrie Connors, racing genius may have a devious and cunning plan here.

JB: Earlier form would give this horse much more of your time, either you believe the conspiracy / Bart Cummings M Cup theory or you're happy to let this one pass right on by. I'm inclined to do the later.

14. Horizons (17) $61

Captain: She will likely look the winner before they turn after shooting across from a wide gate early. Then she will either be swamped, devoured by the pack, and spat out the back door if they've gone too hard, or she will be thereabouts. Think the barrier might have killed her chances but there are a few shorter than her that seem to present far less value. Form is alright and has a slow track win (over Melito who is $21). Definitely not the worst, so if a schooner is say $4.50, 16 x $0.5 change= $8, that's $4 each way for Horizons.

Professor: Could well be the best roughie in this field. Put in a powerful win in the Widden (mudlark!), but couldn't follow it up in the Sweet Embrace. Upon review, Horizons was a sitting duck in the Sweet Embrace on an inner part of the course that looked pretty ugly (in fact, the next race was the Skyline won by Manhattan Rain and ALL of the horses looked to be five or more off the fence!). At the price, you have to have a look. The barrier is no worries in this weather either. YES, YES, ONE MILLION TIMES YES!

JB: You know you will have something on it, just do the math. You don't need much at $61 to have some fun with it.

15. Marquardt (16) $41

Captain: A tough filly. Has had a few setbacks and some bad luck in races but I find myself making a lot of excuses for her. Backs up here after making some good ground on Indian Ocean last week but this is harder. Not the worst though, and I'd include her in multiples before Indian Ocean personally.

Professor: Impressive run on the weekend in a less than impressive race. The barrier is not a big drama in this weather, and if they fly out in front, it's as good a chance as any. I will have a look at this one.

JB: I like the type of horse she represents. Sort of like a more modern day Fields Of Omagh only two thirds the size and hasn't come back from the dead. Would like to see it preform well but head is saying - go away, not today.

16. So Anyway (7) $81

Captain: So Anyway, I'll be leaving her alone. Not enough form against horses who are actually in the Slipper, even if she is a dead track merchant.

Professor: No, but the connections should be pretty excited... Although they seem like they let their 14 year old daughters name their horse so...

JB: anyway.

17. Sunday Rose (1st Em) (10) $81

18. Stryker (2nd Em) (4) $151


Captain: I will likely smash Real Saga because I think he's gonna be a star, whilst playing around with these and trying to nail a massive first four so I can take the next year or so off work:

1. Real Saga
2. Headway
3. Manhattan Rain
4. Phelan Ready
5. Horizons

Professor: I like Manhattan "Chubby" Rain, from Real Saga and Horizons. Given $20 to play with I'd put $10 on the Rain and $5 Each way on Horizons. Decent place chances for Headway, Marquardt and Phelan Ready. Obviously, one of the favourites could blow them out of the water.

JB: First I want to tell you a little something about Mr Tipsy in the BMW. First off, its a grey mudlark - say no more. Second, colours: Pink not chartrouse, pink. Third, M.Rodd. Fourth, it's paying $12. It might not really have the class of Viewed or Theseo but I like it! Roughie of choice has to be Newport who I hope, more from sentiment then form, also does well. But back to the Slipper, my money is all over the outside chances to make a return even in the places. All the cash to be split between Headway, Horizons and Phelan Ready. Won't be surprised if Real Saga and More Joyous battle it out down the straight but not betting on it.


Professor Chaos said...

Other stuff for tomorrow:
1) Light Fantastic and Mufhasa in the Ranvet
2) Unless the track drys out any further, I'll follow the Tipsy plan.
3) I've backed Glowlamp a lot. Why not tomorrow as well.

Professor Chaos said...

JB: "You don't need much on Horizons to have fun"

--------------- Or you could have even more fun and smash it each way-----------------------

Captain Carnage said...

For all those who followed my'd be sharing a piece of the First Four!

The Shirtman said...

Great preview boys - unfortunately I was back in Oz for the weekend and missed reading pre-race and have only just caught up. Captain - first four... Genius! I coulda/shoulda/woulda had a piece of that...

Personally, I had a little go at the Manhattan Rain/Headway Quinella when a Duet would have done me just as well. Greedy. One of many hard luck stories - my bank balance on slipper day would have been better served had I invested my cash with Bernie Maldoff.

Derby Day this Saturday - onwards and upwards. I'm tempted to scream ROCK KINGDOM from the rooftops, if I didn't think that Gai will be doing more than enough of that already.

Professor Chaos said...

Nice Shirtman,

I'm leaning Rock Kingdom & Buffet at this stage.