Australia: Does The Slipper Fit Justify Filly Learning To Fly? - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Australia: Does The Slipper Fit Justify Filly Learning To Fly?

Learning To Fly, a filly by Justify, is a perfect three-for-three entering Australia’s Golden Slipper

Fans of Tom Petty and of America's most recent Triple Crown winner will be attracted to an undefeated filly, when Rosehill Racecourse hosts the world's richest race for 2-year-olds this Friday night in Sydney, Australia. Learning To Fly, a daughter of Justify, is second wagering choice for the US$3.25 million Golden Slipper Stakes. Among four other Group 1 races on a stellar card, the spotlight will shine on record-breaking Horse of the Year Anamoe. The card will broadcast live on FanDuel TV and is available to stream on the Sky Racing World App (First Post 9:10 p.m. ET/6:10 p.m. PT).

The Golden Slipper, at six furlongs, is for juveniles whose southern hemisphere racing season began last August. As a winner of three from three, Learning To Fly quickly learned to race – ironic, given that her sire became the first Kentucky Derby winner since 1882 to have not run as a 2-year-old. Justify, in fact, has surpassed all expectations with the precocity of his offspring worldwide. The giant chestnut was purchased for stud duty by global powerhouse Coolmore and twice “shuttled” to Australia, but was then given a break from the most recent southern hemisphere breeding season.

I was privileged to call half of Justify's six-race career – although not the most famous half! His first three starts culminated in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby, propelling him toward a history-making run as the sport's first undefeated Triple Crown winner since Seattle Slew.

Learning To Fly (who could also have been named for a Pink Floyd hit song four years before the Petty namesake) is 9-2 second wagering choice for the Golden Slipper behind Cylinder (3-1). Both horses won important traditional prep races on the same Rosehill card two weeks ago, with Cylinder clocking .29 seconds faster in the race for colts and geldings.

Coolmore owns Learning To Fly while Cylinder represents Godolphin, thus the world's most famous sets of all-blue silks (Coolmore's “navy” and  Godolphin's “royal”) may well be battling out the finish of the 67th Golden Slipper. Godolphin, which memorably provided the longshot trifecta in 2019 (at odds of 25-1, 7-1 and 13-1), has two other entrants this year: Barber (20-1) and Exploring (80-1).

Conversely, Coolmore awaits its first victory while ranking the Golden Slipper alongside the Kentucky Derby as its two most coveted global prizes. Coolmore's other runner is Shinzo (16-1), whose sire and dam were both beaten favorites in the Golden Slipper. Shinzo will be ridden by champion English jockey, Ryan Moore.

Moore is in Sydney chiefly to partner Dubai Honour in the G1 Ranvet Stakes, Race 6. The multiple G2-winner and G1-placed gelding makes his Australian debut for leading British trainer William Haggas. Dubai Honour is 4-1 for the Ranvet, at 1 1/4 miles. Wagering is headed by last November's Melbourne Cup winner, Gold Trip (3-1), who produced a slashing second in his recent return from a layoff. The Ranvet Stakes also features the Aussie debut of Joseph O'Brien's G3 winner Raise You. At 16-1, he is likely tuning up for longer assignments in the coming month.

The Ranvet was the more likely of two races under consideration for reigning Australian Horse of the Year, Anamoe. Surprisingly, the superstar son of Street Boss (and an Australian dam who placed in the 2007 American Oaks at Hollywood Park) was pointed to the shorter George Ryder Stakes (G1) at 7 1/2 furlongs. After wins this campaign at seven furlongs and a mile, Anamoe will cut back (albeit slightly) in distance – a somewhat unusual approach for Australia's top racehorses. Regardless, he dominates wagering at 3-5 while seeking a ninth victory at the elite level.

In a world that seems Godolphin's oyster, it is a high honor for Anamoe to now hold the record for most Group/Grade 1 wins by a Godolphin horse anywhere on the planet. The George Ryder Stakes (Race 7) immediately precedes the Golden Slipper, so if Anamoe wins and the Slipper fits Cylinder, the Godolphin juggernaut will have captured a massive G1 double within 45 minutes.

The Rosehill card will be broadcast live on FanDuel TV this Friday night (First Post: 9:10 p.m. ET/6:10 p.m. PT) alongside cards from Kembla Grange, Doomben and Ascot. All races will be live-streamed in HD on the new Sky Racing World and major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpiresXpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWagerHPIbet, and AmWager. Wagering is also available via these ADW platforms. Fans can get free access to live-streaming, past performances, and expert picks on all races at

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Michael Wrona has called races in six countries. Michael's vast U.S. experience includes race calling at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, Arlington and Santa Anita; calling the 2000 Preakness on a national radio network; and the 2016 Breeders' Cup on the international simulcast network. Michael also performed a race call voiceover for a Seinfeld episode called The Subway.

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