Global Weekly Review - 14.03.16
Godolphin plan to send as many as four runners to Saturday's G1 Golden Slipper Stakes, headed by unbeaten colt Astern, who is the confirmed mount of James McDonald.
Joining him in the line-up for Rosehill's mega-prize is talented filly Calliope, to be ridden by Sam Clipperton, in addition to Telperion and Tessera, who are to be partnered by Godolphin's visiting UK-based jockeys James Doyle and William Buick, respectively.
Trainer John O'Shea added Tessera to his list of likely contenders on learning that rain was forecast in the Rosehill area prior to the race.
Tessera won his first two starts on rain-affected tracks, at Randwick and Rosehill, before finishing last of four runners, on good ground, behind Kiss And Make Up in the G2 Todman Stakes at March 5.
Astern, whose final gallop before the Golden Slipper is scheduled for Tuesday morning, suffered a minor setback prior to his last scheduled outing. "But he has overcome it, and he's in good order," O'Shea reported.
Doyle, one of Godolphin's two contracted jockeys in the UK, finished 12th on Haptic in last year's Golden Slipper, in which the 'Royal Blues' were represented by four runners. He recently returned to action in sparkling winning form in Dubai following an operation for the removal of his appendix.
Buick, already a visitor to Sydney only a few weeks ago, has been riding brilliantly in Dubai, and recently sparked up a winning association with Godolphin's top American four-year-old Frosted, who he rides in the Dubai World Cup on March 26.
Saturday will also be an important day for in-form Hauraki, who is targeting the G1 Ranvet Stakes on the glittering Slipper card. His two runs back from a spell were excellent, with the most recent, a running-on third to Winx and Dibayani in the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick, looking very encouraging.
Mixed results greeted two of Godolphin's older imported horses, It's Somewhat and Bow Creek, in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively, at the weekend.
It's Somewhat chalked up his second victory in Australia, in the G2 Ajax Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday, which is great encouragement for his current Sydney campaign.
O'Shea would now like to step him up to 2,000m in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Randwick.
"He has been 'flying' at home," O'Shea revealed.
"He has a wonderful approach to his racing, and I am keen to see him run over 2,000m, a distance he has never tackled in Australia. I would like to see him ridden forward in that type of race, and the Queen Elizabeth might be ideal," he added.
It's Somewhat finished third in the G1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park (UK) in July 2014, running an excellent race in defeat.
Bow Creek's 8th in Saturday's G1 Australian Cup at Flemington was a much better run than it appears on paper. Although he never looked likely to win, he finished less than 3 lengths behind first-past-the-post Awesome Rock, who then lost the race on protest to runner-up Preferment because of interference.
As usual, Bow Creek missed the start, but it was the slow tempo in the middle stages of the race that proved most detrimental to his chances, as he was positioned at the rear of the field. His next target is the G1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick next month.