The $10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) assembled an exceptional field for its fifth appearance at Rosehill on Saturday and here is our assessment of each runner’s form.
The four-year-old fixed weight contest is Australia’s second richest race after its introduction to the racing calendar in 2019.
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Past winners have included Kolding (2019), Colette (2020), I’m Thunderstruck (2021) and I Wish I Win (2022).
This year’s field includes eight Group 1 winners and six international raiders. The 20 starters are made up of 15 horses and geldings and five mares.
Here is a runner-by-runner analysis of each horse that will line up on Saturday:
Striped: 2) Attrition, 6) Rediener
1) HAWAII FIVE OH (Barrier: 4)
Jockey: Nash Rawiller, Trainer: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. TAB: $4.60
Hawaii Five Oh is a giant horse with a lot of abilities. He won twice at Group 3 level last season, then ran a strong third to superstar Think About It in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap. He has been unlucky this spring, notably with his narrow defeat to Think About It in the Premiere Stakes and again when sixth to that horse in the Everest. Hawaii Five Oh finally arrives on a more suitable 1500m and he will be at the finish.
Verdict: He was solid in the best sprints in the country. If there is a question, it is between 1200 and 1500 m.
3 – PERICLES (Barrier: 1)
Jockey: Ben Melham, Trainer: James Cummings. TAB: $10
Pericles scored successive victories, including the Group 2 Tramway Handicap, then suffered a setback, missing out on Epsom. He ran well in the Silver Eagle finishing third and will be in better form. Pericles was classified Group 1 over 2000m last season, so he has the endurance but also the tactical speed to run in a forward position. He will be difficult to beat.
Verdict: Was kept on the cool side for much of the spring. Pulled to get all the favors.
4 – GOLDEN MILE (Barrier: 18)
Jockey: Zac Lloyd, Trainer: James Cummings. TAB: $34
Golden Mile won the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas last season and returned to top form with his resounding victory in the Theo Mark Stakes earlier this spring. He ran a blinder when third at the Epsom and had excuses in the King Charles. This is one of the main chances.
Verdict: Barrier 18 makes his task much more difficult.
5 – KOVALICA (Barrier: 16)
Jockey: Tommy Berry, Trainer: Chris Waller. TAB: $9
Kovalica won the Group 1 Queensland Derby last season and goes into the Golden Eagle in outstanding form following his runner-up at Epsom and an unlucky fifth at the King Charles. The likelihood of a quick run will suit Kovalica’s powerful final push.
Verdict: Will need some luck from barrier 16 but is good enough to overcome it.
7 – OSIPENKO (Barrier: 8)
Jockey: Jason Collett, Trainer: Chris Waller. TAB: $10
Osipenko won the Hobartville Stakes and Frank Packer Plate last autumn and ran well at Group 1 level in the Caulfield Guineas (third) and Doncaster Mile (sixth). He has only been placed once in four starts this spring, but it was his third behind Mr Brightside and Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes. Below average last time out in the Turnbull Stakes.
Verdict: At his best, he’s in the mix and drawn for his chance.
8 – DETROIT ACER (Barrier: 7)
Jockey: Tyler Schiller, Trainer: Edward Cummings. TAB: $51
Strait Acer is flying this spring, breaking through the levels and improving with each race. He won three races in a row and secured his place in the field with his fast second place in the Silver Eagle. Boasted brilliant closing speed.
Verdict: X-Factor racer drawn to get every chance.
9 – COMMUNIST (Barrier: 12)
Jockey: Koby Jennings, trainer: Michael Freedman. TAB: $126
Communist showed exceptional ability last fall when winning the Group 1 Randwick Guineas and finishing sixth in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes. He struggled in three starts this spring, but with racing luck, he can participate in a competitive race.
Verdict: It’s not going well enough.
10 – PIECE TANCE (Barrier: 17)
Jockey: Brett Prebble, Trainer: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. TAB: $101
Coin Toss was one of the best three-year-olds in Singapore and won the Guineas on his last start there before joining the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable. He took the Silver Eagle again and never really got into the race as he finished ninth ahead of Vienna Princess. The increase in distance is in its favor but others have more appeal.
Verdict: I should appreciate the extra travel but the draw hurts.
11 – KNIGHT’S CHOICE (Barrier: 10)
Jockey: Jaden Lloyd, Trainer: John Symons and Sheila Laxon. TAB: $126
Knight’s Choice arrived in Sydney with a great reputation having scored four successive victories, including his impressive effort in the Winx Guineas to close out his three-year-old season. He was moved in two races this spring, but his last start, fifth in the Filante Handicap, was full of merit after being involved in a melee during the home round. Improver but must move to a new level against this exceptional peloton.
Verdict: Upgraded here.
12 – OBAMBURUMAI (Barrier: 2)
Jockey: Joshua Parr, Trainer: Keiji Yoshimura. TAB: $11
Obamburumai is a lightly raced Japanese galloper, with two wins from five starts. His last race was in a Group 1 race in May, where he finished a close third. Obamburumai has settled in well at Canterbury, his track work has been impressive and his Japanese form puts him in this race.
Verdict: Impossible to align but the Japanese must always be respected.
13 – NEW ENDEAVOR (Barrier: 13)
Jockey: Adam Hyeronimus, Trainer: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. TAB: $101
New Endeavor is a former English sprinter-miler who has to his credit a minor placing in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket and a Group 2 second place in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. He was never on the track on his Australian debut when he was 11th in the Silver Eagle and he could improve greatly.
Verdict: You have to find a lot of them and a tricky door to cross.
14 – AGE OF KINGS (Barrier: 11)
Jockey: Craig Williams, Trainer: Chris Waller. TAB: $61
Age Of Kings are an under-raced but clearly talented group who were tested at Group 1 level in the Irish 2000 Guineas earlier this year when not placed behind the outstanding Paddington. But Age Of Kings won the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. His two essays since joining the Chris Waller stable have been difficult to read but he is highly rated.
Verdict: The essays leave a lot to be desired. Ready to take risks.
15 – GALERON (Barrier: 14)
Jockey: Regan Bayliss, trainer: Charles Hills. TAB: $151
Galeron is a stylish English miler who won the Goffs Millions and was competitive at Group 1 level earlier this year, including his fifth in the Irish 2000 Guineas behind Paddington. He has impressed on the Canterbury tracks since arriving in Sydney and it is a good indicator of his chances that trainer Charlie Hills will make the trip for the Golden Eagle.
Verdict: It is the choice of international raiders. Delicate draw.
16 – AMELIA’S JEWEL (Barrier: 5)
Jockey: Damian Lane, Trainer: Simon A. Miller. TAB: $4
Superstar mare Amelia’s Jewel won the Group 1 Northerly Stakes last season and returned with successive victories in the Let’s Elope Stakes and Stock Stakes. She was well below her best in the Toorak Handicap then but there were legitimate excuses. Amelia’s Jewel is Golden Eagle’s long-time favorite and remains the one to beat.
Verdict: Worthy favorite drawn at random to obtain all the favors.
17 – RUTHLESS LADY (Barrier: 20)
Jockey: Sam Clipperton, Trainer: Ciaron and David Eustace. TAB: $19
Ruthless Dame beat older mares in Group 1 of the Robert Sangster Stakes last autumn and finished a good fifth in the Stradbroke Handicap. She has improved steadily with each race this spring and showed she is back on top form when narrowly beaten by Espiona in The Invitation last week.
Verdict: Barrier 20 makes the task of this quality mare practically impossible.
18 – LEGARTO (Barrier: 6)
Jockey: Michael Dee, trainer: Ken and Bev Kelso. TAB: $7
Legarto is a hugely gifted Kiwi mare who unleashed a brilliant finish to win Attrition in the Group 1 Australian Guineas earlier this year. She had two races this spring, including her easy victory in the last start of the Matamata Cup. Legarto tends to come back in her races, but with even race luck, her elite closing speed will put her right in the pack.
Verdict: Solid shaped kiwi star and straight barrier.
19 – VIENNA PRINCESS (Barrier: 9)
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy, trainer: Chris Waller. TAB: $31
Vienna Princess came of age this spring, resuming with an easy victory at Rosehill then easily handling the move up in class with a dominant effort in the Silver Eagle. She was very impressive in the last start and although it is more difficult, she continues to improve in the race.
Verdict: Improved mare that is attracted to produce a better career result.
20 – RAZETA (Barrier: 15)
Jockey: Dylan Gibbons, Trainer: Kris Lees. TAB: $151
Razeta is a double stakes winner, but most of her best form has been due to rain. However, it can perform on firmer slopes and has been buffed by three points per spell. She wasn’t beaten by a long shot when eighth in the Silver Eagle’s last start, but there are easier races for her.
Verdict: Ready to win but it’s not the right race and the draw doesn’t help.
This story first appeared at Punters.com.au and has been republished with permission.