The opening Group 1 race on the bumper Golden Slipper Day programme at Rosehill Racecourse this afternoon is the $400,000 Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes (1500m) where Gai Waterhouse’s superstar mare More Joyous will start the shortest-priced favourite of the day.
The 2011 Queen of the Turf Stakes, Rosehill Race 3 at 1:05pm (AEDST), has attracted a final field of just seven fillies and mares with the connections of many horses reluctant to take on the mighty More Joyous as she seeks her fourth straight win this preparation.
Respect needs to be given to More Joyous here.
She is the classiest and most consistent runner in today’s race boasting a sensational Win Rate of 76 %.
Unbeaten this year, More Joyous is coming off an emphatic three length win in the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) against open company where she beat the likes of Love Conquers All and Demerit.
Against her own company today in a 1500m race, the mare brilliant over the mile making this distance ideal, it is easy to see why More Joyous is odds-on favourite.
Now sitting at $1.26 in the market, More Joyous will take some beating today.
All horse, however, have the ability to be beaten.
Punters saw this with Golden Slipper favourite Sepoy last start in the Todman Stakes and the connections of some of More Joyous’ rivals think we may see it again today in the Queen of the Turf.
The next best-backed runner in the Queen of the Turf is Melito, a classy dual Group 1 winner drawn well in barrier two.
Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Melito is coming off a third to Aloha in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic where she carried a hefty 59.5kg.
Dropping down to 57kg today, Melito looks set to improve.
Also fuelling Melito’s claims is the fact she will have champion hoop Hugh Bowman aboard for today’s ride.
Bowman kicked off his Golden Slipper Day in fine style, saluting in Race 1 with Bart Cummings’ promising colt Do You Think.
Another longer-priced outsider that has flown under the radar is Palacio De Cristal.
“I have never had her better,” Palacio De Cristal’s trainer Grahame Begg said of his mare.
Last start the five-year-old daughter of Encosta De Lago ran seventh in the Coolomore beaten fourth lengths on rain-affected Rosehill track.
“She has run well twice so far this time in but just found a deteriorating track last time, which didn’t help her cause,” Begg said.
“But she has trained on well since.”
Palacio De Cristal is at a price of $19 to upset More Joyous in the Queen of the Turf.
Multiple Group 1 winning jockey Glen Boss will ride Palacio De Cristal today seeking his third win in the feature having previously ridden Queen of the Turf Stakes winners Divine Madonna (2007) and The Perfume Garden (2004).