Vinery Stud Stakes (SR4)
– Norzita was only narrowly beaten in the Group One Coolmore against older mares and appears to be much more suited back against her own age in this contest. She made ground better than anything else in that race and gave every indication that she would be suited by the step up to 2000m. New Zealand Derby winner Habibi comes across the Tasman with a big reputation having won six of her seven starts and is sure to be competitive, as is honest filly You’re So Good , who has finished in the first two at each of her career starts including when runner-up against the boys in the Australian Guineas. VRC Oaks winner Dear Demi disappointed when down the field in the Coolmore by the past seven Oaks winners to have run here have registered 6 wins and a third.
Selections: Norzita, Habibi, Dear Demi, You’re So Good
The BMW (SR5)
– Three year-olds have a good record in this race winning 10 times since the race was first run at WFA in 1977 and Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar represents the classic generation this year. He has finished runner-up at his past two starts at the top level but his form in Sydney remains below the level that he has run too in Melbourne. Foreteller beat him home in the Ranvet Stakes and will be hard to beat here if reproducing that performance although he is unproven over 2400m. Imported galloper Hathras has been extremely impressive in winning his past two starts in much weaker company but deserves his chance in this grade, while Kelinni and Maluckyday will relish the step up in trip.
Selections: Fiveandahalfstar, Hathras, Foreteller, Maluckyday
Queen Of The Turf (SR6)
– Eight time Group One winner More Joyous has won this race in each of the past two years and will be hard to beat again following a brave second to Pierro in the Canterbury Stakes last time out. Streama ran on well enough in the Coolmore last time out to suggest that she will go well meeting her rivals from that event better at the weights, as will wet track specialist Red Tracer . Pear Tart is another that will relish some give in the ground after struggling on a firmer surface in the Coolmore, while the winner of that race Appearance is another capable of running into a place.
Selections: More Joyous, Streama, Pear Tart, Appearance
Golden Slipper (SR7)
– Gai Waterhouse has a strong chance of claiming her fifth Slipper with Overreach a red hot favourite following a pair of scintillating performances during this preparation. Drawn well in barrier one, Tommy Berry will put her on the pace and be hard to run down. Kiwi filly Ruud Awakening comes across the Tasman with a big reputation having won five of her six starts and has Craig Williams aboard, but has drawn the widest gate. Villa Verde will have come on a great deal from her second to the favourite at Rosehill last time out, while Sweet Idea will run her usual honest race. Darley juvenile Sidestep could be the best of the boys having won the Pago Pago Stakes last Saturday and if he is considered a major player, Criterion must be as well having beaten Kerrin McEvoy’s mount in the Black Opal Stakes last month.
Selections: Overreach, Sidestep, Sweet Idea, Criterion
George Ryder Stakes (SR8)
– Superstar colt Pierro had his finest moment when winning the Golden Slipper on this day twelve months ago and can record another win at the top level in this. He was brilliant in the Canterbury Stakes a fortnight ago and with Nash Rawiller back in the saddle, is clearly the one to beat. Fellow three year-old Rebel Dane was just a nose behind him in the Hobartville Stakes two starts back and will again be competitive but Shoot Out could be the biggest danger to Pierro. His reappearance win in the Chipping Norton Stakes was good and he will have come on for the run. Kiwi star Veyron has form around Cox Plate winner Ocean Park and is unbeaten on wet tracks, while 2011 French Derby 3rd Reliable Man is of interest at his first start for Chris Waller.
Selections: Pierro, Shoot Out, Veyron, Rebel Dane
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