It has been a rollercoaster journey towards the Golden Slipper for connections of speedy Victorian filly Eloping.
A hamstring injury meant Eloping missed the Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast in January and led to the two-year-old skipping the Blue Diamond Stakes.
But Eloping got her campaign back on track when she trounced her rivals by six lengths at Bendigo last month to earn her place in Saturday’s Golden Slipper.
Just when trainer Peter Morgan was convinced he had Eloping in perfect shape for the $3.5 million event the filly came up with gate 15 at Tuesday’s barrier draw.
Now Morgan is hoping the likelihood of a slow or heavy track can negate her alley.
“That track chopped up pretty badly last Saturday,” said Morgan, who trains Eloping in partnership with Craig Widdison.
“There is a bit of rain forecast so it might end up better out there.”
Jockey Stephen Baster has the task of putting Eloping in a winning position from the awkward barrier.
He believes the soft going will be more crucial to her chances than the starting gate.
“She’s pretty quick so it doesn’t matter where she draws,” Baster said.
“You just don’t know which ones will handle it (the wet track) and it brings everyone into the race.”
Bookmakers have Eloping at $71 to become the first Victorian-trained horse to win the Golden Slipper since Crystal Lily in 2010.