Racing stars set to enhance postponed Golden Slipper meeting

Talk about making the best out of a bad situation.

The Golden Slipper washout on Saturday was extremely disappointing but also unavoidable given the monsoonal-like rain lashing Sydney and the NSW east coast.

But the postponement of the meeting could make next Saturday’s rescheduled Golden Slipper Day even better again next week

The likes of Mugatoo, Arcadia Queen, Nature Strip, Sir Dragonet, Colette, Toffee Tongue and some of New Zealand’s best three-year-olds could now add their considerable presence to the Golden Slipper meeting.

This is because nominations for all races with the exception of the Golden Slipper will be reopened with final acceptances taken next Wednesday.

The Golden Slipper final field and barrier draw stands for next Saturday but the other Group 1 races the George Ryder Stakes, Ranvet Stakes, Rosehill Guineas and The Galaxy will open again for nominations.

Those horses who were paid up as acceptors for Saturday’s postponed meeting will get preference when final fields for those four Group 1 races are declared.

Mugatoo, winner of the All-Star Mile last start, could be nominated for either the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) or Ranvet Stakes (2000m).

Trainer Kris Lees had never intended to start stable star Mugatoo on Slipper Day a week after the All-Star Mile but Saturday’s postponement has caused a rethink.

“I’m considering whether to nominate for next Saturday,’’ Lees said.

“Of the two races, possibly the Ryder would suit him better.

“The plan was to go straight to the Doncaster Mile and that is still the most likely option but the Ryder and Ranvet are options now.’’

All-Star Mile winner Mugatoo may now take on Verry Elleegant and Addeybb in the Ranvet Stakes. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Arcadia Queen, the glamour Perth mare, was scratched from the George Ryder late last week due to the extremely heavy track conditions but she can go back into the race now.

An extra week also gives Arcadia Queen more time to get over the hoof issue that ruled her out of the All-Star Mile on race morning.

The Ranvet Stakes had only five starters but was to feature the return clash of English champ Addeybb and Sydney’s super mare Verry Elleegant.

But the Ranvet now becomes a possible target for the likes of Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet, Toffee Tongue and Colette, particularly as all three enjoy rain-affected track conditions.

Chris Waller had considered nominating Nature Strip for The Galaxy last week but decided to rely on Haut Brion Her, Fiesta and Fabergino.

But with Nature Strip’s main autumn mission, the T.J. Smith Stakes now pushed back to April 10, Waller may revisit his original plan to only give the sprinter a barrier trial before Day 1 of The Championships at Randwick.

Then there is the likes of New Zealand’s top three-year-olds, Rocket Spade, Milford and Frontman, who ran the placings in the NZ Derby.

The star trio were expected to have their final lead-ups for the ATC Australian Derby (April 10) in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes but with that race pushed back to April 3, the rescheduled Rosehill Guineas becomes a viable option.

Arcadia Queen can be renominated for the George Ryder Stakes. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Amarelinha, the Kiwi super filly, scored an outstanding win in the NZ Oaks at Trentham on Saturday, and is now likely to head to Sydney for the autumn carnival.

It is unlikely she would be asked to back up in the Rosehill Guineas on Saturday but if she makes the trip to Sydney then the decision to shift the carnival means the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill on April 3 becomes a viable option.

Michael Freedman, trainer of Golden Slipper contenders Stay Inside and Glistening, had the final say.

“By waiting a week the track may end up in the soft range which is a fairer surface for every horse,’’ Freedman said.

“It would have been a tough call to make postponing Slipper Day but I’m satisfied that, absolutely, the right decision has been made.’’

Originally published asGalaxy of stars set to enhance Golden Slipper meet

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