Adam Page gives us his brief runner by runner look at Saturday’s 2011 Golden Slipper, view his early look at the race.
One quarter of the big four races in Australia, right beside the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate. The $3.5 Million race has been won by the best of the best, such as the inaugural winner Todman, Vain, Luskin Star, Bounding Away and by some of the modern day stars like Flying Spur, Dance Hero and Miss Finland. Who will it be this year? The Blue Diamond winner Sepoy? Boom juvenile Smart Missile, rated by Anthony Cummings as one of the best horses he has trained? Or will the maestro Bart Cummings rewrite the history books with one of his three youngsters?
Rated by many as the best juvenile in Australia and rightly so after his deeds in Melbourne culminating in a dominant Blue Diamond triumph. Started $1.18 when running in the Todman and at no stage did he look like winning. To his credit he fought on like a good horse when beaten 3/4L by Smart Missile. He was fresh that day and he didn’t handle the going. He’ll be extremely hard to hold out.
2. Smart Missile
After his win in the Breeders Plate in October, trainer Anthony Cummings said he was the best horse he has trained based on ability. He resumed in the Todman and another brilliant ride by Bossy got the horse home. Gate five, firmer track and Bossy sticks…hard to make a case against him.
3. Running Tall
Did the job well when winning the Sires Produce at Flemington. The ride probably won the race and he won’t get the same breaks here. He looks a nice three year old in the making but he may find these too slick back to 1200m.
Outstanding win first up at Warwick Farm. Then had the nice sit in the Todman but was just outgunned on the day. The key in regards to this horse is that the blinkers are going on. That’ll spark massive improvement in this colt and I think he is the one to beat.
Took a while to wind up when finishing fourth behind Running Tall. I also think he’ll be a better three-year-old but he is drawn perfectly and ace rider Craig Williams rides. 1200m is short of his best but he’ll be hitting line very hard late.
How could anyone not be impressed by his stunning debut win in the Pago Pago. Bart trains him and he has a high opinion of this colt which speaks volumes of the ability this horse. The major factor against him is that no horse has done the seven day back up to win the Slipper. But if records are to be broken, Bart will be the man to do it.
7. Hot Snitzel
Nice gelding from the Gerald Ryan stable. Looked to have won the Skyline but was grabbed by Uate right on the line. He has ability, but I question if he can beat these. It’s also not a positive sign when the rider you booked wants to jump off.
8. Satin Shoes
Best filly in the race. Just found Elite Falls too strong in the Reisling after racing outside the speed. Clarry Conners is the master of this race after winning it four times. She’ll get the plum run and is right in contention.
9. Elite Falls
Had the right run and surged clear to win the Reisling. The barrier has made it near impossible for her to win but if you want a jockey to steer a horse home from the carpark alley, Jimmy Cassidy is the right jockey to be engaged.
10. Karuta Queen
Boom filly from Queanbeyan. Started $1.20 in the Black Opal when she was beaten by You’re Canny. She was found to have been injured after the race so she had excuses. The thing against her is that You’re Canny raced in the Pago Pago last week and was very ordinary. Still, she is the fairytale story and most punters would love to see her win.
Good ride by Josh Parr to get the filly home in the Magic Night. She is the unknown because she appears to have plenty of upside and obviously has ability, but the seven day back up is a worry because the stats say it’s impossible to win doing that.
12. Shared Reflections
She showed a lovely turn of foot to win the Sweet Embrace over Streama and Pane In The Glass, who both ran well last week. Gai knows how to prepare a slipper winner. She has done it three times and on one of those occasions she claimed the trifecta. Drawn perfectly here and will be right in the finish.
Trialled very nicely last Friday at Randwick. She was four wide on the speed when tiring to finish seventh behind Shared Reflections. Not here.
14. Fast And Sexy
Worked home well behind Elite Falls and Satin Shoes in the Reisling. No doubt she has talent but I think she is more of a Sires/Champagne horse. Happy to risk her.
In all honesty, she was lucky to win on debut. It was a gem of a ride by Nikolic to keep the red hot favouite City Of Song in a pocket. I think the connections are dreaming here if they think this filly can win but they do have a starter in the worlds richest juvenile race which will be a big thrill.
16. Empress Rock
Has superstar written all over her after a dominant debut performance last Sunday at Warwick Farm. The quick back is a concern again because it’s hard to do in order to win this race, but J B Cummings always has tricks up his sleeve.
17. Do You Think (Emergency)
I think Bart has a really good stayer in the making here. Not sure if he’ll gain a start, but if he does he’ll be running on at the end.
Selections : 4 Foxwedge, 8 Satin Shoes, 1 Sepoy, 12 Shared Reflections
Written by Adam Page
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