Vancouver is the $3 favourite to win the $3.5 million race at Rosehill this Saturday while Exosphere is not far behind at $4. Every other runner is paying double digit odds, including the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained pair Haptic ($15) and Reemah ($41).
However Hayes is sending out a warning to punters to not discard the roughies. Considering he has nearly won two races this season with odds of $101, perhaps it’s a piece of advice to listen to.
“I reckon it’s a very even race,” Hayes told Racing Victoria.
“The ones up the top, one (Exosphere) has got a cross (failure) next to his name and the other one (Vancouver) has drawn the outside barrier.
“I certainly don’t think it’s a two-horse race.”
Reemah itself was one of the near blowout victors, finishing just a head behind Pride Of Dubai in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 28 with a starting price of $101, while Extra Zero started the same price in last weekend’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and finished within a millimetre of stablemate Spillway.
When asked to pick between the pair ahead of the 2015 Golden Slipper, Hayes couldn’t look past Reemah, despite drawing wide in gate 15 compared to Haybah in gate three. The filly did manage to run second in the Blue Diamond Stakes despite starting from barrier 12 (of 14).
“I think she’s more a 20-1 shot, so she’s well ‘overs’, and the barrier probably won’t affect her like it will some because she likes to relax,” he said.
“She’ll be able to sit back and if they go hard she might come over the top again.”
Reemah has run second in both of her last two starts, including the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes. The filly went back from her wide barrier and was near last on the rails at 700 metres. She got a split rounding the home turn, switched out at 300 metres, and put in a strong run to challenge at the 100 metres, battling very well for second.
Hayes isn’t discounting Haybah though, considering her experience and form. The filly has placed in five of her seven career starts, which includes winning the Listed Cinderella Stakes (1050m) last time out.
“She’s snuck up on us a bit, but she’s a good, tough filly and I reckon from the barrier she’s well and truly capable of giving a big kick at the 300,” Hayes said.
“If she’s sitting up there and it’s one of those years where there isn’t as much pressure as perceived, I think she could keep kicking. She’s tested some good ones in Melbourne.”
Rosehill will play host to five Group One races this Saturday and is the first meeting of the autumn that Hayes & Dabernig are really focusing their attention on Sydney. To back their runners in the 2015 Golden Slipper, open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account and you’ll receive up to $250 in a bonus match on your first bet.