Melbourne-based horses have a poor record in the Golden Slipper at Sydney’s Rosehill Gardens but one thinks that Extreme Choice will live up to favouritism in this year’s edition of the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.
Several juveniles make the long journey up the Hume Highway every year to contest the highly lucrative Golden Slipper over 1,200 metres but each of the last five editions have been won by Sydney-based horses, Crystal Lily being the most recent interstate winner of the seven-figure first prize when she triumphed on a rain-effected track in 2010.
According to the Golden Slipper betting, Kiss And Make Up is Sydney’s best chance of making it six victories in a row and one knows that every Australian journalist will be cheering for him because of his back story – John Singleton named him to mark the patching up of his differences with star trainer Gai Waterhouse. Singleton has been known to shout drinks at the public bar following Golden Slipper wins and one could see the advertising mogul pouring a glass of champagne for Waterhouse if Kiss And Make Up maintains his unbeaten run.
But one thinks that Kiss And Make Up has a bit to find on Extreme Choice, who is undefeated in his three starts since debuting in December. Extreme Choice’s trainer, Mick Price, introduced the $100,000 son of Not A Single Doubt in the valuable Inglis Nursery over 1,000m at Randwick and he cruised to a two-length win to pocket $290,000. Extreme Choice reappeared in the Chairman’s Stakes over 1,000m at Caulfield in February and he justified his short odds in emphatic style, finishing four and a half lengths ahead of his nearest rival. Extreme Choice made the step up to Group One level last time out, dominating the Blue Diamond Stakes over 1,200m at Caulfield – it is Melbourne’s equivalent of Sydney’s Golden Slipper – to defeat his Price stablemate, Flying Artie, by one and three-quarter lengths. Extreme Choice jumped from a wide barrier in the Blue Diamond Stakes but he had the early speed to settle fifth in the 16-runner field and he put the race to bed in a matter of strides.
One is going to line up with the Golden Slipper favourites through form references featuring Power Trip, who has made five racecourse appearances. Power Trip was fourth in the Blue Diamond Stakes, finishing six and three-quarter lengths behind Extreme Choice. The Blue Diamond Stakes was the third time that Power Trip had clashed with Flying Artie and the margin between them has increased with every contest. Power Trip has not competed against Kiss And Make Up but he has crossed paths with Weatherly, who was two and three-quarter lengths off the Waterhouse-trained colt in the Todman Stakes over 1,200m at Randwick earlier this month. Power Trip had beaten Weatherly by nearly half a length in the Blue Diamond Preview (Colts and Geldings) over 1,000m at Caulfield in January and that was despite conceding two kilograms.
Timeform agrees that Extreme Choice merits Golden Slipper favouritism. Timeform has assigned a 124+ rating to Extreme Choice and the organisation has only handed out one higher rating to an Australian juvenile in more than 10 years – Pierro earned a 127 score in 2012. Kiss And Make Up is on 120 with Timeform currently, while Flying Artie is 117p.
Bet365 and Paddy Power are offering odds of +200 about Extreme Choice being Price’s first Golden Slipper winner. Unlike Flying Artie, Extreme Choice has proven that he can win in the Sydney direction – tracks in New South Wales are clockwise, whereas tracks in Victoria are anti-clockwise – and he has the gate speed to overcame a tricky barrier.
The Golden Slipper will take place at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday 19 March at 4:30pm local time, for a huge total purse of $3,500,000. (That’s 3:30am GMT by the way, so make sure you’re on in time!)
Extreme Choice to win the Golden Slipper
Saturday 19th March, 03:30 GMT
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