04/03/2013 12:52PM

Australia: Overreach favored vs. males in $3.6 million Golden Slipper


Overreach, a filly who has won two of her first three starts, will be favored to beat males in Saturday’s $3,640,000 Golden Slipper Stakes, the world’s richest race for 2-year-olds, at Rosehill Gardens racecourse in Australia.

Overreach is one of three horses in the field of 16 trained by Gai Waterhouse, who is seeking her fifth win the Group 1 Golden Slipper, which is run over about six furlongs at the suburban Sydney racecourse. Waterhouse also trains Sweet Idea, winner of the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes on March 2; and Whittington, a Tale of the Cat colt who won the Lonhro Stakes on March 9.

Overreach, by Exceed and Excel, won the Group 2 Reisling Stakes at Rosehill on March 23, beating Villa Verde, another highly regarded runner in the Golden Slipper.

Other contenders are Criterion and Fast N Rocking, who were first and second in the Group 2 Todman Stakes on March 23; Ruud Awakening, a Bernardini filly who won the Group 1 Diamond Stakes in New Zealand on March 9; and Side Step, who won the Pago Pago Stakes last Saturday.

The Rosehill Gardens program includes one other seven-figure stakes – the $2,360,000 BMW Cup for 3-year-olds and up over about 1 1/2 miles.

Fiveandahalfstar, a 3-year-old in the Southern Hemisphere, is favored to win the BMW Cup and make a quick turnaround in a week for the Group 1 Australian Derby at Randwick on April 13.

Waterhouse has favorites in two other major stakes over 7 1/2 furlongs on the same program – Pierro, winner of the 2012 Golden Slipper, in the $416,000 George Ryder Stakes; and More Joyous, winner of 21 of 31 starts, in the $416,000 Queen of the Turf Stakes.

Habibi, who won the Group 1 New Zealand Derby on March 2, is part of a field of 15 in the $416,000 Vinery Stud Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over about 1 1/4 miles on the Rosehill Gardens program.

◗ In England, Sprinter Sacre, a 19-length winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on March 13, is the 1-3 favorite to win Friday’s Grade 1 Melling Chase over 2 1/2 miles at Aintree Racecourse.

Sprinter Sacre, 7, is unbeaten in eight steeplechases, but has never run this distance in a steeplechase. He is part of a field of six that includes Cue Card, winner of the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham on March 14.