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It’s getting close to crunch time for potential Golden Slipper contenders to make a mark starting with the year’s first stakes races for two-year-olds at Rosehill.

Saturday’s meeting features the Group Three Widden Stakes for fillies and the Canonbury Stakes for colts and geldings, both over 1100 metres.

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Defcon is already high up in markets for the Slipper March 19 and is second favourite for next month’s Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne.

He is scheduled to make his debut in the Canonbury as is the Gerald Ryan-trained Star Of Monsoon who hails from a famous Australian family.

The colt is by Lonhro out of Monsoon Wedding, a sister of Redoute’s Choice, winner of the 1999 Blue Diamond and a race day scratching from that year’s Slipper.

“He won his trial and as long as he pleases me with his work on Tuesday he will go to the Canonbury with Christian Reith to ride,” Ryan said.

“He is a nice colt and we will see where we are with him.”

Star Of Monsoon is raced by his breeder, Malaysian businessman Ananda Krishnan, who started a dynasty with Shantha’s Choice, the mother of Redoute’s Choice.

Defcon’s stablemate Capitalist is unbeaten in three starts including the $2 million Magic Millions and is the $3.50 favourite for the Golden Slipper.

Defcon is a $15 chance with the unbeaten Scarlet Rain still at $26 after her win at Randwick on Saturday.

Ryan will enter three-year-old King’s Troop in Saturday’s Group Two Expressway Stakes (1200m) along with multiple stakes winning mare Solicit.

“King’s Troop will also be entered for a benchmark 85 race but I will look at the nominations for the Expressway and see how strong they are,” Ryan said.

“Solicit will definitely run in the Expressway. She’s fit and ready to start her campaign.”

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