In its two-year history, the Golden Eagle has rapidly become one of the biggest events on the Australian racing calendar – courtesy in no small part to the $7.5 million prize pool on offer for participants. The 2021 edition of the event is set to jump on the 30th of October, and this is some of the biggest news surrounding the third incarnation of the race as we head toward the spring.
Ayrton – the leading contender?
The Mick Price-trained Ayrton may have only raced on four occasions, but heading into his four-year-old season he looks likely to be one of the favourites for the race. Price speaks openly of Ayrton’s ability, and well-known racing pundit Ron Dufficy has highlighted the Golden Eagle as an ideal target for him this spring. So far, Ayrton has raced on just four occasions, but he won the first two of those with ease, and after finishing a close second in his third start he bounced back in kind with a dominant victory in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic for three-year-olds to round out his first season. There is plenty of expectation surrounding this horse, and expect him to continue to be at the forefront of conversations about the Golden Eagle as we edge closer to the race.
Our Playboy – Mick Price’s second Golden Eagle starter?
Though Ayrton appears likely to be Price’s best chance at training a Golden Eagle winner in 2021 – and perhaps the best chance overall – Our Playboy is looming as another chance to start from the same stable. The three-year-old gelding has a little more race experience than his stablemate, having started in 14 races, though his strike rate isn’t quite as impressive. Nonetheless, 4 wins from 14 starts is a solid beginning to any career. Recently he was dominant in winning the Winx Guineas by a huge 5.8 lengths, and it was following that win that tongues began to wag about his potential to make his way to the Golden Eagle race in a few months’ time. Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen, but given that Price himself suggested that it would be a good race to aim at for the horse, it seems it will at the very least be a target for Our Playboy in the spring.
Orbisyn strengthens chances with winter win
Sunshine Coast-based gelding Orbisyn only hit the racetrack for the first time back in March, but since then he’s shown himself to have plenty of ability and put in yet another impressive performance just a few weeks ago. He began his career with a two-length win in Doomben, before winning by nearly five lengths in his only race in April and over six lengths in his only race in May. His first race of the winter came just a few weeks ago in Doomben, and he once again proved far too good for his rivals in careering away to another two-length win. He has continually firmed as a horse likely to be one of the frontrunners for the Golden Eagle, and his latest win only furthered those claims. Trainer David Vandyke recently spoke glowingly of the gelding’s ability, suggesting that maturity is one of the biggest challenges he faces going forward.
The Golden Eagle has quickly become a target race for many four-year-old horses in the spring, with the huge prize pool a major attraction for trainers and owners alike. There are a number of months to go until the 2021 edition and still plenty of water to go under the bridge, but as we’ve seen above, there is already plenty of conversation beginning to develop about not only potential starters, but also potential winners.