Talented 2YOs turn up around Australia

7 min read
Cosmic Force announced himself as a serious Golden Slipper hope by donning flippers and skipping through the wet track at Rosehill. Kiamichi added another set of blue silks to the Slipper field. Flit and Ready Set Sail couldn't be separated at Flemington, while The Odyessy takes out his fourth win and a big cheque for connections at the Gold Coast.

Cosmic Force (Deep Field) stamped himself as a force in next Saturday’s $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) with a slashing win in the Bowermans Office Furntiture Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.

Under the cool riding of top jockey James McDonald, Cosmic Force burst away from the pack in the home stretch to claim a breathtaking 7 ¼ length win in the Group 3 for the two-year-old colts and geldings.

Bookmakers slashed Cosmic Force’s price from $51 into $7 for the world’s richest juvenile race to be on the fourth line of betting behind the Chris Waller-trained favourite Yes Yes Yes on $5.

Co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden immediately declared Cosmic Force would back up into the Slipper following the colt’s emphatic victory on the Heavy 10 track.

“If the track is like this next weekend, then he definitely comes into the race,“ Peter Snowden said.

“If anything the race today settles him for next week. The quick back up won’t worry him, he is a great doer.”

“If the track is like this next weekend, then he definitely comes into the race." - Co-trainer, Peter Snowden

James McDonald, who has committed to Tenley (Medaglia d'Oro {USA}) joked about switching Golden Slipper riders.

“That horse gave me an unbelievable feel,” McDonald said. “He relaxed super in the run and when I asked him he gave a boom. He was strong to the line."

“He has gone enormous. Even his demeanour around the stalls, he was very quiet, he jumped well and put himself in a good position for a two-year-old.

“If he can accelerate like that, with the week’s rain we are about to get, it’s going to take a good one to beat him.”

Cosmic Force as a yearling

Cosmic Force was purchased by the China Horse Club Racing Pty Ltd, Newgate Bloodstock and WinStar Farm, from Ascot Farm, for $180,000 at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Cosmic Force is a half-brother to the Melbourne Group 3 winner Onemorezeta (Onemorenomore) and the multiple Western Australian winner My Greek Boy (Myboycharile). His dam Little Zeta (Commands) has the perfect record of having produced six foals to race for six winners.

Another Slipper cap required for Godolphin

Godolphin trainer James Cummings reinforced his already powerful arsenal into the Slipper, when Kiamichi (Sidestep) scored an all-the-way win in the Harrolds Magic Night Stakes (1200m).

Cummings, who has dominated this season’s two-year-old features around the country, holds a strong hand in the Slipper with Miscrophone, Tentley, Exhilerates, Pin Sec, Tassort and now Kiamichi qualified.

Kiamichi was having only her fourth start, when crossing from gate 10 to take the lead in a field of 15 fillies.

She ploughed through the heavy going with ease to win comfortably by 1 ¼ lengths with Crystal Falls (Medaglia d’Oro {USA) thwarting a Godolphin quinella when knocking Athiri (Lonhro) out of second place.

“We felt that the race today was going to be in some ways instructive to us, given that it is likely to be a rain-affected track again on Slipper day,” Cummings said. “A race like this conducted on a Heavy 10 gives these fillies their opportunity to put their hand up."

“A race like this conducted on a Heavy 10 gives these fillies their opportunity to put their hand up." - Trainer James Cummings

“She is a daughter of Sidestep, who ran second in a Golden Slipper off a three-week back up. He dropped his rider Corey Brown in the Todman Stakes and he had to run the next two Saturdays to finish second (in the Slipper). He was a very good colt."

“With her action the way she ploughs through the ground that she wouldn’t be capable of being competitive on a heavy track.”

Leading Victorian-based jockey Damian Lane was most pleased by the performance of Kiamichi and rates her as a chance in the Slipper.

“She is a tough filly,” Lane said. "She hasn’t done much wrong. I thought her run was good last start and she was tough today."

“I would say that she is pretty close to her top, but hopefully she has that little bit of improvement in her and she pulls up okay. I guess she is going to be in a winning position and she is going to handle the wet.

“In those sort of races that is going to take you a long way. I’m sure if she gets there she will be competitive.”

Kiamichi proves she can handle a wet track in the Magic Night S.

Inseparable fillies at Flemington

Two smart fillies hit line together in the G3 TBV Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes, with a deadheat between Godolphin filly Flit (Medaglia d'Oro {USA}) and Mick Price's filly Ready Set Sail (More Than Ready {USA}).

The judge was unable to separate the pair in a head bobber, after Ready Set Sail flashed home late to grab Flit who looked to have the race at her mercy.

"It's a lot better than running second, especially as it goes into the (stud) book for these fillies, a Group 3 win," said Ready Set Sail's trainer Mick Price. "She's a nice filly and she can go out now on a bit of a high as she's already a Stakes winner and I reckon she's still a preparation away.

"That's the whole idea of running in these races. She's very much a scopey filly and she'll be a beautiful spring three-year-old, but we'll tip her out now. Job done."

James Cummings said he would take a few days to consider whether or not Flit would head to Sydney for another shot at stakes level. She was third on debut at Bendigo a month ago.

"She is still immature, let's see how she comes back from this effort," he said. "We will let here spend a few days at Carbine Lodge to get over this run because she has put in a supreme effort there."

"She is still immature, let's see how she comes back from this effort." - James Cummings

After bolting to a clear lead a furling out, Cummings suggested her inexperience may have cost her the race.

"She probably waited for the other filly a little bit," he said. "But she is a magnificent filly with a lot of scope and definitely one to follow."

Flit made it Godolphin's 22 juvenile wins this season. Of these, 19 have been trained by Cummings and three by Blue Diamond Stakes winner Lyre for trainer Anthony Freedman.

Both fillies are by American shuttle stallions who no longer travel to Australian shores and out of Danehill-line mares, by Redoute's Choice (Flit) and Fastnet Rock (Ready Set Sail).

Medaglia d'Oro (USA) (El Prado {Ire}), the sire of Flit, has had two top juvenile fillies this season - also siring the brilliant grey Tenley who is $6 second favourite for the Slipper. Ready Set Sail became the 88th stakeswinner for her Champion sire More Than Ready (USA) (Southern Halo {USA}).

The Odyssey relishes conditions

Race favourite The Odyssey (Better Than Ready) utilized his draw on the rail to jumped to the lead and outsprint his two-year-old rivals in the $500,000 Aquis QTIS 2YR Jewel (1200m) on the Gold Coast.

The Odyssey reveled in the mud on a track rated a Heavy 9, before a big downpour for 30 minutes before the Jewel turned the track into a bog.

He went to the line with a length in hand over a fast finishing Miss Cavallo (Nicconi) with Ready To Roam (Better Than Ready) flashing into third place.

The Odyssey has now won four (and two placings) of his seven starts with his sole blemish being when finishing 12th in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast last January.

Trainer Kelly Schweida said the colt was given a brief spell before being brought back for the Jewel.

“He was doing well but I believe the track was too hard for him on Magic Millions day,” Schweida said.

“This race was worth more than a Group 1 and is restricted to QTIS horses so provided he was well I thought we would have a go.

“He was able to win his lead up two weeks ago to get ready for today. Things have gone pretty much to plan since he came back. My wife Vera owns a share in him and it will be a bit of a party tonight.”