Todman Stakes favourite Performer will be out to prove the Golden Slipper successor to She Will Reign is not guaranteed to be a filly.
The leading colt in the market for the $3.5 million Slipper on March 24 at Rosehill, Performer has the opportunity on Saturday to indicate Sunlight and Estijaab can be challenged.
He returns from a freshen-up for the Group Two Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick, one of two key Slipper lead-up races.
The Chris Waller-trained juvenile started his career in September in the Listed Breeders’ Plate and returned from a spell last month to claim the Group Three Canonbury Stakes (1100m) .
Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth is keen for Performer to sound a warning to the Tony McEvoy-trained Sunlight and Estijaab, a rising star with Hawkes Racing.
“Obviously it’s predominantly a fillies market for the Slipper so this is a chance for Performer to give them a reminder they won’t have it their own way,” Duckworth said.
Sunlight, who wraps up her Slipper preparations in next Saturday’s Group Three Magic Night Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill was the TAB’s $4.60 Slipper favourite on Friday.
Estijaab, who runs in Saturday’s Reisling Stakes, was at $5 with Performer next at $7.
Sydney’s premier trainer has had few Slipper runners and Duckworth says Performer’s emergence is not a one-off as the stable works on developing more juveniles for autumn campaigns.
“If you’ve had a bet six months ago you wouldn’t have said Chris Waller was the one with the crack colt,” Duckworth said.
Performer was Waller’s first pre-Christmas two-year-old winner and will be a trendsetter, according to Duckworth.
“He’s an indication of where we’re heading,” he said.
“There’s been a couple of years where we’ve trained more two-year-old winners than any other stable in Sydney. They just all happened to be in the last two months of their two-year-old career.”