With several of the runners entered here sitting precariously on the Golden Slipper order of entry, this will be the last roll of the dice for horse, trainer and connections to gain a start in the premier 2yo event.
1. FUERZA – B Avdulla (9)
Surprisingly, jumped and was handy to the speed when resuming from a brief break in the Skyline Stakes last start but he was no match late for the impressive All The Talk, finishing fourth (beaten over five lengths). From his wide draw, expect him to get back today and if so, is capable of producing a strong finish.
2. GOOD JOB BRO – J Bowman (11)
Relished the heavy conditions two starts back to register a 2 ¾ length over Calming Influence at Warwick Farm and was then sent out as 7/4 fav in the G3 Skyline Stakes. Sat wide just off the pace but was in trouble soon after straightening and wound up seven lengths off All The Talk at the finish. Drawn widest here and $5.50 in early markets – would hope for a better price than that or, for wet conditions before entertaining him. Currently 21st on the list of entry for the Slipper.
3. DOTHRAKI – G Schofield (6)
Kicked off his career in the Wyong Magic Millions and finished mid-field behind Assail before scoring well at Canterbury at his next start. Was given a let-up of nine weeks and chased All The Talk home in the G3 Skyline Stakes, finishing third (beaten 4 ¼ lengths). Will no doubt go forward and has shown enough thus far to justify the $4.60 price. Currently 25th on the list of entry for the Slipper.
4. SIDESTEP – K McEvoy (7)
Sweated up noticeably when returning from a break in the Listed Black Opal Stakes at Canberra but fought on well after settling on the pace, to be caught only by long neck by the smart Criterion. He then lined up in the G2 Todman Stakes only to lose the rider shortly after the start. Going on the Black Opal performance, would have to think he was one of the better chances here. Currently 25th on the list of entry for the Slipper.
5. FLAK JACKET – N Berry (1)
Fair on debut back in February when five lengths behind Never Can Tell, Whittington and Criterion in the Canonbury Stakes before closing well from the tail of the field in limited room, to run fourth (beaten 4 lengths) in the Black Opal Stakes. Won’t be able to take advantage of the inside gate but if given chance in the straight, the full brother to Red Tracer and Shellscrape will be finishing well.
6. DIAMOND OASIS – J McDonald (4)
Stepped out in a Gosford Maiden at his only start as an unwanted 30/1 shot however, the son of Lonhro defied the betting to finish well from the tail of the field and register a narrow victory. This is a long way from a Gosford Maiden but interestingly, the John O’Shea galloper is rated a legitimate chance in early markets at $6.00.
7. RAISE NO DOUBT – C Brown (3)
Held on for second when making his debut at Canberra before failing to make an impression in the run home when finishing eighth (beaten 6.7 lengths) behind Criterion in the Black Opal Stakes. On his latest effort, he will be safely held here.
8. SENIOR COUNCIL – (10)
From the yard of local trainer Lionel Cohen (Aeronautical), this son of Hussonet is yet to register a place in three starts. His best effort to date was his most recent when he held on for third behind Equator in a Kembla Grange Maiden. Not here.
9. DRAGO – P Robl (2)
Making his debut for trainer Anthony Cummings, this Danehill Dancer colt is from an Galileo mare called Snapdragon. She’s had two to the races and both are winners of moderate affairs in Hong Kong and Singapore. He’s had two barrier trails, the most recent just Wednesday gone. $34.00 in early markets.
10. ONE STEP BEYOND – B Shinn (5)
Another making his debut for Anthony Cummings, this gelding being by Northern Meteor out of Peintre Celebre mare, Flying Object. It’s the first to race for the mare and he’s been given three trials by Cummins, one in December and two more recently. $21 in early markets.
11. ZABA ZABA DOO – SCRATCHED
Expecting the pace to come from the middle of the line-up with Sidestep and Dothraki showing the way and both are capable of winning this. Going to forgive Fuerza his last start, ridden a bit upside down and first up off a break, he can bounce back here if ridden more patiently, which should be the case and has demonstrated in the past that he’s capable of a big finish. Taking the Criterion form-line, I’ll go with Flak Jacket in to round out the trifecta selections. He didn’t have a real clear shot at them in the Black Opal and could get a sneaky run from gate one.