Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney
Shortly after the founding of the British colony of Sydney in 1788, the governor of New South Wales named the hill behind the old Government House “Rose Hill”. The larger suburb of Parramatta later swallowed it up, but the recreational land set aside in the area would become the Rosehill Racecourse.
It is now one of Parramatta’s best-known landmarks, hosting some of Australia’s most popular racing events, including the world-renowned Golden Slipper Stakes, the feature race in a meeting held annually on a Saturday in late March/early April. One of two premier racecourses in Sydney (the other is Randwick Racecourse), Rosehill is a grass-surfaced track for thoroughbreds operated by the Australian Turf Club (ATC).
The club encourages punters to dress up for the occasion and make racing a group day out, and Rosehill’s open terraces are supplemented by a number of other facilities and race-watching vantage points, like the timber-panelled Cabana, the Moet et Chandon Champagne Bar, the sophisticated Winning Post restaurant, the Ascot Club perched high above the action, and numerous private suites.
The Golden Slipper Stakes a World Leader
The Golden Slipper Stakes is a Group 1 race for thoroughbred two-year-old horses, run on a right-handed turf track at set weight conditions over 1,200 metres. With a total purse of AU$3.5-million (AU$2-million of which goes to the horse in first place), the Golden Slipper Stakes offers the richest prize of any two-year-old race in the world, and it is definitely Australia’s premier event for two-year-old thoroughbreds and a great time to place horse racing bets. The race was founded in 1957, and in all the years since, no horse has been able to win it twice. However, the first four winners, Todman (1957), Skyline (1958), Fine And Dandy (1959), and Sky High (1960), were all sired by the same legendary stud stallion, Star Kingdom. Renowned trainers Tommy J. Smith (who passed away in 1998) and his daughter, Gai Waterhouse, share the distinction of training the most Golden Slipper Stakes winners, having produced six champions each. Jockeys Rod Quinton and Shane Dye are also tied for a top spot, with four wins each.
The 2015 Rosehill Golden Slipper Stakes Result
The 2015 Rosehill Golden Slipper Stakes was won by Vancouver, ridden by Tommy Berry and trained by Gai Waterhouse. It was Berry’s second time winning the Golden Slipper, as he came in first on Overreach in 2013. Of course, the win also allowed Waterhouse to equal her father’s record, set almost 30 years ago, of producing six Golden Slipper Stakes champions. Despite being the firm favourite in the 2015 event, Vancouver had to fight off a strong challenge from his stable mate, English, eventually clinching the race by three-quarters of a length. Lake Geneva ran third. “Good horses get themselves out of trouble,” Berry said after the race, adding an emotional tribute to his late twin brother Nathan, who had watched him win the Golden Slippers Stakes from the stands two years ago. “He is a joy; he is a dominant colt,” Waterhouse remarked, after admitting that her late father’s example has been the driving force behind her career.