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It’s all about the females when it comes to the 2017 Golden Slipper. Firstly it was Houtzen after the Magic Millions, then She Will Reign trounced them in the Silver Slipper. Catchy came out and won the Blue Diamond. The race is wide open, with no real standouts, so here at Justhorseracing, we have put together an extensive preview in order for you to find the winner.

Field: View the Golden Slipper Field

Odds: View the Golden Slipper Odds

What Does History Tell Us?

  • The race has a rich history, so we’ll look at this century and the stats there to help you find the winner. Here are the five key facts from the Slipper we think are most relevant:
  • Favourites have a pretty good record in the race since 2000. They have won the race on four occasions and placing in another five editions of the race. The latest winner was Vancouver in 2015. Since 2011, the favourite has missed a top three finish just once, which came via Extreme Choice last year.
  • Barriers: Sometimes barriers are irrelevant, as we saw with Houtzen in the Magic Millions, but when it comes to the Slipper, you do need to draw a decent gate. 12 winners since the turn of the century have drawn a single digit barrier, but keep in mind that the 2015 and 2014 Slipper winners Vancouver and Mossfun drew 16 and 11 respectively.
  • Boys Or Girls: It’s really 50/50, so I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the sex. But for those that are interested, eight winners since 2000 have either been a colt or a gelding. The last two winners, Capitalist and Vancouver, were both colts.
  • The Right Form Race: History says it’s the Todman, run a fortnight before the Slipper. Five of the last eight winners of the Slipper have used the Todman as the key lead up, including the past two winners. The Black Opal hasn’t been a successful Slipper lead up since Catbird in 1999, but this years Black Opal had more significance due to the heavy rain that hit Sydney.
  • Home Ground Advantage: It’s very hard for interstate raiders to take away the Slipper from the shores of Sydney/New South Wales. The last to do it was the Matty Ellerton/Simon Zahra camp in 2010 with Crystal Lily. Prior to that, three trainers from interstate have successfully won the Slipper since 2000.


The Lead Ups:

Magic Millions Classic (1200m), Gold Coast, January 14 2017, Good Surface, Clockwise Direction, Best Going= Off The Fence

Thought it would be good to show this replay. She is one of the key runners for the Slipper and while most haven’t really ticked the brutal 1200m box, this filly did here. She had to carve over from the wide gate to lead, and ran her first 600m in a tick over 34 seconds, which was clearly the fastest early sectional of the meeting. She was entitled to get tired, but she did hold and win. Keep in mind a couple of things. Capitalist ran 0.2 quicker than her last year, but didn’t do as much work. He of course went on to win the Slipper. The other, which is a negative, is that the form out of this race subsequent, with just one win from five starts.


Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), Caulfield, February 25 2017, Good Surface, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Track Played Well

Visually, huge win by Catchy. Was trucking up beautifully with cover, but looked to get lost on the turn and at the top of the straight, and seemingly was in trouble. But once Williams shook her up and gave her clear air, she gunned down Pariah for a brilliant victory. That pair were dominant, Formality was good, Tulip sound. She is another that has ticked the 1200m box. The query I have is that the time was considerably slower than the 3YO event earlier in the day and the time they ran would have seen them several lengths off Extreme Choice and Flying Artie in the Blue Diamond last year, and those horses both failed in the Slipper last year. But as we keep saying, there is no real standouts in the 2017 edition of the Slipper.


Todman Stakes (1200m), Randwick, March 4 2017, Heavy Surface, Clockwise Direction, Best Going= Outside Fence

I wasn’t sure what to make of this race pre race and post race, originally, I didn’t want to touch it, but looking back, gee I thought the effort of Invader was super. Between the 800m-400m stablemate Gunnison ran a couple of sub 12 second splits on speed, and on a heavy track for a two year old, That should take the wind out of you, but he kept coming and would have beaten Gunnison in another stride. I think there is upside with Invader, and he has the hard heavy track run under the belt.


Reisling Stakes (1200m), Randwick, March 4 2017, Heavy Surface, Clockwise Direction, Best Going= Outside Fence

Jockey Tommy Berry notified stewards before the race that he was intending on coming to the outside fence on Frolic given he thought that was the better ground. His judgement proved spot on as the filly sailed down the outside to make the then Slipper favourite look second rate. My query with She Will Reign has always been: Will she run 1200m? I concede she was perhaps in the worst, but my gut feeling is that she will be found out. Frolic though flattered, was still impressive to my eye and she will eat up a fast 1200m.


Winning Edge Presentations Handicap (1000m), Eagle Farm, March 4 2017, Soft Surface, Clockwise Direction, Track Played More Like Heavy

While a couple of key rivals were getting rolled at Randwick, Houtzen tuned up for the Slipper with a 1000m race here with 63kg on her back. Was accepted for the Reisling and Black Opal but the stable elected to keep her home and hopefully not do too much damage with the weight. Showed her customary brilliant speed to lead from the wide gate and from there it was painless, winning with ease as expected. She ran quicker time than the other two 1000m races on the day, and keep in mind the 63kg impost. Perfect clean out for the Slipper to my eye. Question is, she is yet to travel further than an hour away from home for a race. How will she handle the trip to Sydney.


Black Opal Stakes (1200m), Canberra, March 5 2017, Good Surface, Clockwise Direction, Track Played Well

This was pretty much a barrier trial, so it was no surprise to see Trapeze Artist kick strongly. Kick strongly for a three length win? Yes, that’s the surprising thing. But all credit to him. He came from the outside gate, sat up on speed and showed a lovely turn of foot when asked. I’ll say that I am biased because I have been on his back for the Slipper for a while, but I have to mention Trekking. He came into this race off the back of just one soft 800m trial, so clearly underdone with bigger fish to fry, but I thought his effort against the tempo was outstanding. Would love to see a set of blinkers on for the Slipper. He’s the horse with upside and the one to watch from a Slipper perspective.


Magic Night Stakes (1200m), Rosehill, March 11 2017, Soft Surface, Clockwise Direction, Track Played Well

Very impressive win by the Hayes/Dabernig runner Tulip. Had three wide cover for most of the trip. Peeled wider on the turn and looked to travel sweetly in the straight before McEvoy asked for the effort. Did a bit wrong, but I loved her final 75m when she drew right away for a dominant win. She’s the only runner heading towards the Slipper. At least she has ticked the 1200m box at Rosehill, and she does appear to have room for improvement.


Pago Pago Stakes (1200m), Rosehill, March 11 2017, Soft Surface, Clockwise Direction, Track Played Well
With the late scratchings, it looked a two horse race between Single Bullet and Ducimus, and that is how it exactly panned out with that pair dominating from the front and they cleared out to fight out the finish with Single Bullet getting the stride in near the peg. Single Bullet has had the prep under the belt and does come into the Slipper with upside. He is a live threat in the race for sure, and will be much better when ridden with cover.

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