Mick Price will rely on Cornrow in the Golden Slipper after his team of youngsters had mixed results in the lead-up races at Rosehill.
The Melbourne trainer brought four two-year-olds to Sydney on Saturday with Jabali considered his leading Slipper hope following his dashing second to Earthquake in the Blue Diamond Stakes.
But he turned in his worst performance to date when seventh in the Todman Stakes in which Cornrow was an eye-catching third while another stablemate Eqdaam finished last.
“I thought Jabali was clearly disappointing,” Price said.
“I’ve always thought he would make a lovely three-year-old.”
Ghibellines and Unencumbered ran one-two in the Todman but jockey Jim Cassidy thought Cornrow should have finished closer to the winner.
“Jim Cassidy got off Cornrow and said he should have been fighting out the finish,” Price said.
With Cassidy suspended on April 5 when the Slipper is run, Damien Oliver will ride Cornrow who also finished third in the Blue Diamond.
More Radiant finished fourth in the Reisling Stakes won by Earthquake but Price decided she was not ready for a high pressure race like the Slipper.
Peter Snowden and Darley made a clean sweep of the two juvenile races and the trainer hopes Memorial can give him a trio of Golden Slipper runners despite finishing down the track in the Reisling.
“She pulled hard going to barriers and that’s not her. I might have erred putting winkers on. I will take them off if she runs in the Slipper,” Snowden said.
Mossfun lost few admirers with her brave second to Earthquake and trainer Michael Hawkes believes she can turn the tables on the undefeated filly on a rain-affected track.
“She tried very hard and she never shirked her task. She just needs a bit of rain,” Hawkes said.
Now unbeaten in four starts, Earthquake has a firm grip on Slipper betting at $2.10 with Mossfun at $6.