Magic Night and Pago Pago Stakes race last chance saloon's for juveniles

The two Group 3 two-year-old races at Rosehill on Saturday are the last change saloon for crucial places in the field for the $3.5m, Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at the track in 12 days’ time.

The winners of the Canadian Club Magic Night Stakes (1200m) for fillies and Café Culture + Insitu Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) for colts and geldings are exempt from a ballot for the Slipper.

However, to add to the degree of difficulty for all but two of the respective fields the All In favourites Sunlight and Written By, respectively, are already certain of places in the richest juvenile race in the world on the 24th.

The Tony McEvoy trained Zoustar filly Sunlight is exempt after her win over Estijaab, also exempt, in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes over 1100m at Rosehill on February 24th. The strongly built filly is four from four this campaign and while the win in the Silver Slipper was narrow it was dominant.

Not surprisingly Sunlight went to the top of the Slipper market after that win and after Estijaab’s long neck win over Pure Elation last Saturday in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes over 1200m at Randwick she firmed further into $4.00.

After 16 fillies were nominated on Monday for the Magic Night Stakes, McEvoy’s filly was installed as the $1.50 favourite with Enbihaar next at $7.00, Into The Abyss and Setsuna on $13.00.

Making the work of the fillies harder to make the Slipper cut is that the Hayes and Dabernig trained Enbihaar, second to Written By in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield on February 24th, is in the field already at seventh in the latest order of entry.

Who will join Bart Cummings' Century Miss ridden by Wayne Harris on the Golden Slipper Wall Of Fame, picture ThoroughbredNEWS

There were 19 colts and geldings nominated on Monday for the Pago Pago Stakes. They too are in a hard place trying for Slipper field entry.

Grahame Begg’s Written By, a colt by Written Tycoon who Begg also trained, is not exempt courtesy of his 2 1/4L Blue Diamond Stakes win, but at current sixth on the order of entry he runs on the 24th.

The All In market has not made him as dominant a favourite as Sunlight is for the Magic Night Stakes, but at $2.50 over Spin at $6.00, Zousain $8.00 and Legend Of Condor, Roosevelt, Sandbar and Tchaikovsky at $13.00 the market has made its statement already.

Spin is at 33rd in the order of entry, Zousain 52nd, Sandbar 24th and Legend Of Condor 25th. With the current stakes cut-off of around $138,000 to make the field even second place worth $32,900 will not guarantee a place in the field.

Not withstanding all of that, there is much to run for. Juvenile favourites are the most fragile of all.

Both races have long and illustrious histories. Tulip won last year’s running of the Magic Night Stakes and recent winners have included Gold Edition, Shamekha and Victory Vein. Bint Marscay, Bounding Away, Ma Chiquita and Century Miss all have their names on the Honour Board.

All Too Hard won the 2012 edition of the Pago Pago Stakes. Stratum, Danbird, Shogun Lodge, Strategic and in 1985 the bred shaping Rory’s Jester. In 1982 Grosvenor won and he went forward to become a sire of classic and staying types.

Acceptances at taken on Wednesday for both races and the rest of the Coolmore Classic meeting, the first day of the three day Longines Golden Slipper Carnival.

Note - Written By may trial at Randwick on Thursday in preference to racing on Saturday.

Link - Latest Longines Golden Slipper order of entry