Godolphin’s Blue Army poised to strike with major chances in the five Group 1 races at Rosehill   Leave a comment

Godolphin’s Blue Army poised to strike with major chances in the five Group 1 races at Rosehill

OFF & RACING: Will Gai wear the Golden Slipper this year?

OFF & RACING: Will Gai wear the Golden Slipper this year?

IT has never been done before anywhere in the racing world and the odds suggest it is unlikely to happen on Saturday, but trainer John O’Shea’s “Blue Army” has a genuine winning chance in each of the five Group 1 races at Rosehill Gardens.

O’Shea’s Godolphin stable has four runners in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper — second favourite Exosphere, Furnaces, Haptic and Ottoman.

The trainer also saddles up favourite Contributer in the $500,000 Ranvet Stakes, highly rated Sweynesse in the $500,000 Rosehill Guineas, and each-way chances Knoydart in the $400,000 The Galaxy and It’s Somewhat in the $1 million George Ryder Stakes.

No trainer has ever prepared five Group 1 winners on the same program and the odds of it happening on Saturday are estimated to be about 2000-1.

TAB Fixed Odds has a more realistic betting option for Slipper Day, offering odds of $2.25 Godolphin win one Group 1 race, and $3.20 they claim two or more, and $3.20 they miss out on a major.

Exosphere will spearhead Godolphin’s assault on the Golden Slipper. Picture: Simon Bullar

Exosphere will spearhead Godolphin’s assault on the Golden Slipper. Picture: Simon Bullard Source: News Corp Australia

Certainly, O’Shea isn’t banking on an unprecedented clean sweep of the major races but he is proud of the giant Godolphin racing and breeding operation’s efforts to have such a mass representation on one of the biggest racedays in the southern hemisphere.

“It is a great team effort to get these horses to Slipper Day, right from the conception of these horses to their training and track careers,’’ O’Shea said.

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“Even to the boys (jockeys) that are riding them, we are confident they will do a good job, we are very happy with that part of things.

“If we have a bit of luck on the day that would be great, but if we don’t we will turn up again next week and something will fall our away.’’

The bookies have Exosphere as the pick of the Godolphin’s Slipper team, rating the colt as the $4.20 second favourite behind Vancouver ($2.80). Furnaces is at $15, Haptic $17 and Ottoman $26 — and O’Shea says the betting market has it “about right”.

Contributer will be hard to beat in the Ranvet Stakes.

Contributer will be hard to beat in the Ranvet Stakes. Source: Getty Images

“You don’t have to be too smart to realise Exosphere and Vancouver look to have a good advantage over their opponents,’’ O’Shea said.

Perhaps Godolphin’s best winning chances rest with Sweynesse and Contributer.

Sweynesse has chased home Hallowed Crown in the Hobartville Stakes and Randwick Guineas but gets his chance to exact revenge over his archrival over the 2000m distance of the Rosehill Guineas.

“If we can’t beat Hallowed Crown [Saturday] we will never beat him,’’ O’Shea said. “The thing about Hallowed Crown he has a lot of ‘ones’ next to his name, the colt is a winner, and he has beaten us fair and square.

Knoydart will fly the flag for Godolphin in the Group 1 The Galaxy.

Knoydart will fly the flag for Godolphin in the Group 1 The Galaxy. Source: News Limited

“But I do think in the Rosehill Guineas we are moving into an area where we probably have the advantage.’’

Contributer has won the Apollo Stakes and Chipping Norton Stakes brilliantly but O’Shea is wary of the introduction of the international runners in the Ranvet Stakes.

“We have to overcome the Japanese horse, Tosen Stardom, and Hong Kong’s Dominant, and that won’t be easy,’’ O’Shea said.

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Originally published as Blue Army poised to strike

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Posted March 21, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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