Bookmakers have reacted swiftly to Cellsabeel’s Rosehill win to promote the filly to $8 favouritism for the Golden Slipper.
With the Australian Turf Club recognising the odds-makers on Saturday, they had a bad start when the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Cellsabeel made light work of the Iron Jack Handicap (1100m) as the $2 favourite.
Cellsabeel had no problems during her first experience on a wet track to stride clear in the straight, leaving Godolphin’s In Flanders ($11) six lengths in her wake.
Maher and Eustace celebrated victory in the first big juvenile race of the year last week when Away Game took out the $2 million Magic Millions Classic and she too is headed to the $3.5 million Golden Slipper on March 21.
“We have had a big opinion of her right from the start,” Maher said.
“She has always been a high quality horse and she will head to the Slipper along with Away Game while Rathlin will head to the Blue Diamond.”
Rathlin finished sixth in the Magic Millions Classic.
By hardy sprinter Hinchinbrook out of Group One winner Our Egyptian Raine, Cellsabeel was a $400,000 yearling and is raced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s royal family.
The filly was ridden by Tommy Berry who has two Golden Slippers to his name on Overreach in 2013 and Vancouver two years later.
He stopped short of a commitment to Cellsabeel this year but said he had done quite a bit of work with her at Maher Racing’s Warwick Farm stable.
“I couldn’t believe how easily she got there,” he said.
“I have ridden quite a few two-year-old winners this season and she is right up there with the best.
“They put the blinkers on her today and I made sure she stretched right out.
“She was worth getting wet for.”