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Ilovemyself will make a late bid to earn a Golden Slipper start via the Pago Pago Stakes

Cranbourne trainer Greg Eurell has made a flying visit to Sydney to watch Ilovemyself in a gallop at Rosehill ahead of the colt’s late bid to earn a Golden Slipper start via the Pago Pago Stakes.

Eurell was happy with Ilovemyself’s gallop on the course proper on Tuesday morning and said he was on target for Saturday’s Group Two Pago Pago (1200m).

A big performance on Saturday from Ilovemyself, who won a Listed 1000m race at Flemington last Saturday week on debut, could earn him a start in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper a week later.

The colt’s owner/breeder Neville Murdoch would need to pay a $150,000 late entry for the Golden Slipper if he qualifies.

“He would have to win to help us bounce into the Slipper, for two reasons,” Eurell said.

“One is to obviously get the automatic entry and be free from the ballot, but it’s also a nice little lift with the prize money to help you pay that late entry fee getting into it.

“He would certainly have to win or be desperately unlucky and run second to push us over the line.

“And if he misses out, we’ll put him away and get him ready for the spring.”

Ilovemyself finished strongly to win at Flemington and he is the early favourite for the Pago Pago.

Eurell is thrilled with the way Ilovemyself has settled in at Rosehill since arriving on Sunday and he worked on the course proper on Tuesday with a Gerald Ryan-trained horse.

“Blake Ryan, Gerald’s son, rode him and the track was heavy but his work was very strong,” Eurell said.

“We left a little bit in hand. We didn’t overdo it seeing as though it was quite heavy so I didn’t want to push him too hard in that. He just worked and got his fitness levels to where we need them.

“Blake reported that he tracked up lovely that way of going. He had no problem at all and handled the soft going well.

“He was very happy with the way he worked based on the conditions that they were working in.

“He pulled up well and he recovered lovely.

“Certainly at the moment you’d say everything is just going exactly how you’d like to see it.”

With Damien Oliver riding Mr Quickie in Saturday’s $5 million All-Star Mile in Melbourne, Nash Rawiller has been booked for the Pago Pago Stakes.

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