There is a push from within the Sydney training ranks to have the season’s first juvenile races, the Breeders’ Plate and Gimcrack Stakes, moved to Everest Day from next year.
The proposal suggests delaying the start of the two-year-old season by two weeks will bolster the prestigious The TAB Everest meeting at Royal Randwick.
Under the existing program, Everest Day boasts a massive $21.86 million prizemoney including the world’s richest turf race, the $15 million The TAB Everest, but two races on the 10-race program are benchmark 78 events.
The trainer’s proposal suggests the Breeders’ Plate and Gimcrack Stakes, both Group 3 races, should be moved to the Everest program replacing those two restricted races.
Sydney is the home of two-year-old racing and the first official juvenile barrier trials were held earlier this week in preparation for the Breeders’ Plate and Gimcrack Stakes on Epsom Day, October 1.
There is always considerable interest in the two-year-old races but there is not another race programmed for that age group at a Sydney Saturday meeting until the Kirkham Plate at Royal Randwick on October 22.
The new plan suggests if those opening two-year-old races were delayed two weeks and added to The Everest program, it would provide more opportunity for trainers to keep their best youngsters in work for the $1 million Golden Gift, which is currently run five weeks after the Breeders’ Plate and Gimcrack Stakes.
Sejardan did win the Breeders’ Plate-Golden Gift double last year but he is an exception to the rule.
The Epsom Handicap meeting already boasts three Group 1 races (Epsom Handicap, The Metropolitan and Flight Stakes) plus a crucial The Everest lead-up, the Group 2 Premiere Stakes among other stakes races so it could absorb the loss of the Breeders’ Plate and Gimcrack Stakes.
It’s also worth pointing out the Breeders’ Plate and Gimcrack Stakes winner earns $109,000 but that doesn’t guarantee either a Golden Slipper start.
But the Golden Gift runner-up collects $190,000 which is more than enough to ensure a place in the elite 16-horse Slipper field the following autumn so the Rosehill race should have as many of these best early season two-year-olds in the field.
Racing NSW and Australian Turf Club officials have a review at the end of every carnival and this is when the two-year-old program changes will be debated.
FIVE THINGS WE WILL LEARN THIS WEEKEND
1: EVEREST VIEW
The Moir Stakes at The Valley on Friday night and the Golden Rose at Rosehill on Saturday should help determine the final field for The Everest. Paulele is Godolphin’s number one seed for The Everest and is expected to be selected if he wins the Moir but the likes of Rothfire and Coolangatta provide stern opposition. Godolphin filly In Secret is favourite for the Golden Rose and there is speculation she could come into The Everest conversation if she wins.
2: FILLIES HOODOO
In Secret, Fireburn, She’s Extreme and Paris Dior need to overcome the hoodoo against fillies in the Golden Rose. The only filly to win the classic was Forensics in 2008 when the race was switched from spring to autumn due to the equine influenza outbreak.
3: COOLMORE’S CHOICE
Best Of Bordeaux, the Golden Slipper runner-up, drew barrier one for the Golden Rose but was scratched from the 1400m race to contest the Heritage Stakes over 1100m. Did owners Coolmore make the right decision? Is this a trial for Coolmore’s Everest slot?
4: LAST CHANCE
The Shannon Stakes is the final opportunity to press for a start in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap next week. But the Shannon hasn’t been a reliable Epsom guide with Dalmacia (1983) the only horse to complete the double. Similarly, the Colin Stephen Quality is a qualifier for The Metropolitan but no stayer has won both races since Railings in 2005.
5: SYDNEY V MELBOURNE
Sunday’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Sandown is a classic Sydney versus Melbourne showdown. Zaaki, impressive first-up winner of the Tramway Stakes, is attempting to become the first horse to win successive Underwood Stakes since champion Northerly two years ago. Zaaki will test the strength of the Melbourne weight-for-age form against last start Makybe Diva Stakes winner and runner-up, I’m Thunderstruck and Alligator Blood, and Doncaster Mile winner Mr Brightside who has won the Lawrence and Feehan Stakes this spring.
MEMORY LANE – GOLDEN ROSE
These are the five most memorable Golden Roses I’ve seen since the race was introduced in 2003.
2011 – MANAWANUI
Manawanui gave trainer Ron Leemon his biggest race win in the Golden Rose. Manawanui, ridden by Glyn Schofield, led throughout to score a thrilling upset win, defeating the previously unbeaten odds-on favourite Smart Missile with subsequent Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet in third position.
2016 – ASTERN
Astern was back near last and was taken to the extreme outside by James McDonald on the turn where he accelerated brilliantly to score an exciting win. He monstered his rivals with a barnstorming finishing burst that opened up a winning margin of more than two lengths from Omei Sword and Impending.
2017 – TRAPEZE ARTIST
Trapeze Artist is the biggest outsider at $41 to win the Golden Rose and he also holds the record for the biggest winning margin, four-and-a-quarter lengths. Trapeze Artist, under Tye Angland, was three-wide without cover from the 700m and forced even wider on the turn before accelerating clear for a stunning, runaway win.
2018 – THE AUTUMN SUN
The Autumn Sun looked in trouble when inside horses at the rear of the field on the turn. Jockey Kerrin McEvoy had to ease off heels to get The Autumn Sun to the outside and find clear galloping room where the colt unleashed a powerful surge to run down Zousain in the final few bounds.
2019 – BIVOUAC
Bivouac defeated Yes Yes Yes and Exceedance in a quality renewal of the Golden Rose. Yes Yes Yes, who won The Everest at his next start in course record time, loomed up and appeared to head Bivouac halfway down the straight only for the latter to kick back hard to score as Exceedance charged late for third.
Originally published as Proposal to move Breeders’ Plate and Gimcrack Stakes back two weeks from next year