The $3.5 million Golden Slipper has been thrown open with the defeats of Sepoy and Satin Shoes at Rosehill on Saturday.
Both were previously unbeaten and started short-priced favourites in the Todman and Reisling Stakes respectively but both found it hard going in the wet conditions.
Sepoy remained TAB Sportsbet’s favourite for the Slipper (1200m) on April 2 but eased from $2 to $2.90 while Satin Shoes drifted from second favouritism at $7.50 to $11.
Smart Missile, the conqueror of Sepoy, was tightened up from $21 to $5.50 after he relegated the Blue Diamond winner to second while Reisling winner Elite Falls firmed from $17 to $9.
Elite Falls’ John O’Shea-trained stablemate Foxwedge, third in the Todman, is now shorter than Satin Shoes at $8.
Sepoy’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy said the colt struggled for the last half of the race and couldn’t match it with the Anthony Cummings-trained Smart Missile who won the Breeders’ Plate in the spring.
While Sepoy’s defeat was unexpected, Smart Missile’s performance was no surprise to his trainer.
“I said before the Breeders Plate that I thought he was probably the best two-year-old I’ve ever had and I don’t think that’s changed,” Cummings said.
“He’s still got a bit to learn. He was a step slow out of the gates and got a little bit off balance around the bend.
“He gave away lots in racecraft, he gave away lots of fitness.
“I’m looking forward to the next two weeks.”
The Todman was just Smart Missile’s second start after he suffered a few setbacks when Cummings was getting him ready for the autumn.
O’Shea was happy to see the rain and said Elite Falls had surprised him with her rise to Golden Slipper contender.
“To be honest, I brought her in early in the year because I didn’t quite think she was up to Slipper standard,” O’Shea said.
“I was hoping to win the Widden Stakes with her but she has proven that she is definitely up to it and she’s going well.”
Satin Shoes’ trainer Clarry Conners was disappointed she didn’t win but happy with her overall.
“Hugh (Bowman) said she didn’t handle the ground very well,” he said.
“There’s still improvement in her and hopefully it’s dry for Slipper day.”
The shock defeats of Sepoy and Satin Shoes came six days after Magic Millions winner Karuta Queen slipped from second favouritism for the Slipper after running second in the Black Opal Stakes.
Karuta Queen is now a $15 chance.