The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The money continues to roll in for the firming favourite I’m Thunderstruck ahead of Saturday’s $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney.
Run an hour after Melbourne’s Group 1 $2 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington, there will be plenty of eyes on the 2021 Golden Eagle when the third edition of the four-year-old’s feature takes place.
There’s a capacity field for the set weights feature and we have a clear favourite in the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr-trained Shocking gelding I’m Thunderstruck.
Two back he was only a half-length third to Sierra Sue in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) from a wide gate (16 of 16) where he was hampered at a crucial stage before his last start victory over Tofane in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Jye McNeil rides in Melbourne this weekend and is replaced by Hugh Bowman for the Golden Eagle where I’m Thunderstruck goes up from 52kg to 57.5kg against his own age.
Jumping from a midfield gate with such excellent lead-up form, I’m Thunderstruck looks a hard to beat favourite at $3.80 in Golden Eagle betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Private Eye is the second elect at $6.50 Golden Eagle odds after the Joe Pride-trained son of Al Maher drew wide (17).
The distance suits as he won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) over the Randwick mile last time out and has been kept fresh since.
No doubt Private Eye will be finishing strongly late, just needs to save from energy and get a touch of luck from the wide alley the early stages.
There has been a big early move on Queensland visitor Apache Chase, the Desleigh Forster-trained Better Than Ready gelding backed in from $9.50 to $7 to win his third on the trot.
Competitive in the winter in Brisbane running second to Private Eye in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) before a win in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1400m) over Ayrton, he won Toowoomba’s Listed Weetwood Handicap (1200m) two back.
Down in grade but up in weight, Apache Chase was good at Eagle Farm last time out carrying 58.5kg to a 1.5 length victory over the 1400m.
Also well-supported early backed in from double-figures to $8.50 is the rails-drawn Ellsberg for Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou.
An ultra-consistent Spill The Beans entire, the classy chestnut has a lovely Rosehill record with two wins and two seconds from his four previous starts at the track.
He won fresh with 58kg here over 1400m on September 25 in a Benchmark 88 before a last start second to Aim narrowly denied the $500,000 Silver Eagle victory at Randwick.
Co-trainer Ryan has had the Golden Eagle target in mind for the past 12 months and Ellsberg is the only horse in this year’s race to have won over the exact track and distance.
Back at Rosehill and up to 1500m third-up and fit and the money looks justified for Ellsberg so long as he and hoop Josh Parr stay out of trouble and use some early speed from barrier one.
Peter & Paul Snowden’s Silver Slipper winner Aim meanwhile is one of the forgotten outsiders in Golden Eagle betting, the son of Star Witness right out to $41 to win second-up in a tougher race.
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