The Godolphin Golden Slipper contingent that has grown steadily since last spring could be swelled yet again with a further four two-year-olds to present their credentials at Rosehill on Saturday, 16 March.
While none will go on to the G1 Golden Slipper a week later merely to make up numbers, a good performance could put them in contention for a start.
Foremost among the quartet on exposed form is Athiri (James McDonald), a winner at the only start of her spring campaign and in contention at each of her two runs this time in, the latest when third to Lyre in the Blue Diamond Stakes, the only G1 juvenile event so far this season.
“Athiri brings very strong form to this race and looks set to go off a nice, three-week break between runs,” trainer James Cummings said.
“She won very stylishly at Rosehill last prep and will be right at home going the Sydney way.”
Amercement (Tommy Berry) runs in blinkers for the first time on Saturday after she and Kiamichi last raced in the G3 Sweet Embrace Stakes two weeks ago and both have pleased Cummings since.
“Amercement was guilty of getting too far out of her ground in the Sweet Embrace,” he said.
“With blinkers on here she may have the ability to tack on more comfortably at 1200 meter distance and with some inclement weather forecast she’ll enjoy some cut in the ground.”
“Kiamichi (Damian Lane) has improved on her honest, first-up fourth in the Sweet Embrace which should be one of the good form lines for this race.”
On paper Jetski’s form is inferior to that of a number of his opponents, but his trainer is looking forward to him showing improvement on his fourth placing at is only run.
“It will be interesting to see if he has improved enough to be competitive with these better-credentialled horses,” he said.
Godolphin’s Stakes-race presence is completed by Ranier (Kerrin McEvoy) who returns to Sydney for the G2 Phar Lap Stakes, Morton’s Fork (Jason Collett), who drops back in distance to the 1,500m of the G2 Ajax Stakes, and Trekking (Kerrin McEvoy) who begins his latest campaign in the G3 Maurice McCarten Stakes.
“Ranier has gone ahead since his unplaced effort in the (G1) Australian Guineas where his rider was adamant that he didn’t enjoy much luck. There’s no doubt he’s better placed back in this company,” Cummings said.
“Morton’s Fork can improve with a seven-day backup, after a below-par effort in the Canberra Cup.”
“Trekking comes into this suitable first-up target off a beautifully executed preliminary.”
“He should be extremely competitive and I’d like to think he’s set for a good campaign.”
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