Cautious optimism surrounds Slipper day

·3-min read

Racing officials are banking on a forecasted Sydney deluge holding off long enough to save Golden Slipper day from being washed out.

"At this point in time we expect to proceed barring the fact we get additional rainfall that hasn't been predicted," Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel said.

Van Gestel walked the Rosehill track late on Friday and admits he was pleasantly surprised by the state of the surface despite almost 46mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 9am.

"It's quite pleasing to see the track in this condition," he said.

Van Gestel said forecasters had told him that Rosehill can expect a further 24mm of rain before the Golden Slipper meeting gets underway on Saturday.

"In years gone by we've run race meetings where we've had 20mm throughout the day and have been able to continue," he said.

"While there is some rain going to fall throughout the day, the track is in remarkable condition considering the rainfall."

There will be another track inspection on Saturday morning.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting up to 120mm to hit Sydney on Saturday as a "significant system" heads south.

Rosehill was downgraded from a soft to heavy range after more overnight rain, ensuring wet-track pedigrees will be an invaluable asset during one of most important days on the Australian turf calender.

How the 16 two-year-olds in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper will cope with a bottomless track is anyone's guess but trainer James Cummings says his two colts have the right credentials to win.

Cummings will start Anamoe and Ingratiating as he chases a second Golden Slipper victory in three years for global thoroughbred operation Godolphin.

Anamoe and Ingratiating filled the minor placings in the Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne last month and Cummings is clinging to the strength of that form to offset their inexperience on rain-affected tracks.

"I dare say the opposition are quite respectful of it considering the third placegetter from the Blue Diamond, Anamoe came straight to the Todman and toppled the two Slipper favourites," Cummings said.

Anamoe was beaten by a wide barrier in the Blue Diamond and enhanced his Golden Slipper claims at his Sydney debut when ridden for the first time by Rachel King.

He gave the Slipper favourite Profiteer a start and a beating in the Todman Stakes a fortnight ago to confirm his rating as one of Australia's best two-year-olds.

King, who will be bidding to become the first female jockey to land a Group One winner for Godolphin, was suitably impressed.

"He feels enormous, he's just got that real sense of class about him," she said.

Chris Waller, Sydney's standout trainer over the past decade, will trump Cummings's representation with three runners.

In Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Shaquero, the well-drawn Home Affairs and the improving O'President, Waller has his best chance to win the race that is run where his primary Australian stable is based.