2018 Golden Slipper – Preview and Tips
There are five Group 1 races up for grabs this weekend. The most prestigious is the $3.5 million Golden Slipper, the world’s richest 2-year-old race. This year, it’s drawn a super field, and hopefully, with some good weather about, the race could be a ripper!
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Here’s the field:
_1111 1. Written By (4), J: J Childs, W: 56.5 kgs, 4.60
34x11 2. Santos (7), J: T Clark, W: 56.5 kgs, 8.00
___11 3. Aylmerton (8), J: T Berry, W: 56.5 kgs, 15.00
_1110 4. Long Leaf (19), J: B Shinn, W: 56.5 kgs, 81.00
_1x1l 5. Performer (16), J: H Bowman, W: 56.5 kgs, 8.50
_1142 6. Ef Troop (2), J: J Collett, W: 56.5 kgs, 17.00
__314 7. Prairie Fire (6), J: M Zahra, W: 56.5 kgs, 51.00
_1162 8. Sandbar (3), J: C Reith, W: 56.5 kgs, 12.00
__112 9. Enbihaar (15), J: S Baster, W: 54.5 kgs, 61.00
11111 10. Sunlight (5), J: L Currie, W: 54.5 kgs, 4.20
__121 11. Estijaab (17), J: B Avdulla, W: 54.5 kgs, 13.00
_2323 12. Oohood (11), J: Z Purton, W: 54.5 kgs, 31.00
32x12 13. Fiesta (20), J: K Mc Evoy, W: 54.5 kgs, 21.00
_1112 14. Sizzling Belle (1), J: Ms K O'Hara, W: 54.5 kgs, 101.00
_4x31 15. Seabrook (12), J: D Oliver, W: 54.5 kgs, 8.50
12574 16. Secret Lady (13), J: B Melham, W: 54.5 kgs, 126.00
14x74 17. Qafila (10), J: C Williams, W: 54.5 kgs, 101.00
_1134 18. Gongs (14), J: T Angland, W: 54.5 kgs, 91.00
1x434 19. Legend Of Condor (9), W: 56.5 kgs, 126.00
42x23 20. Spin (18), W: 56.5 kgs, 91.00
His win in the Blue Diamond was convincing. He won last weekend as a tune-up for this and is in great form. A good draw and again Written By will be right in the firing line. Should be your anchor bet for the Golden Slipper.
Currently, the second favourite, the filly Sunlight is the winner of the Gold Coast Magic Millions back in January. Long touted as a Golden Slipper prospect, this will be her toughest test to date. Quite capable of turning up to the big dance and putting on a show. Hard to ignore.
The Waterhouse/Bott trained Santos is a big improver but does have a bit of an attitude. He seems to be peaking at the right time, and won’t mind the sting out of the ground. If he behaves on the day he could be the bolter. The market thinks so too, priced at $8.00 SP.
The Queenslander Ef Troop could be the one that flies under the radar. A decent fourth in the Magic Millions, and only just getting pipped by Aylmerton in the Todman, he has some credentials, but does he have the brilliance of a Sunlight or Written By? At $17 SP, some punters might jump onboard.
Aylmerton is the horse everyone is keeping an eye on. His French trainer Jean Dubois is very modest and appears to operate his stable on the smell of an oily rag. The winner of the Todman prelude two weeks ago, if this horse won, it would set a new precedent, and change a few lives in the process. At $15, that will be enticement enough for punters to get on him early.
There was a point where prior to the Blue Diamond, Long Leaf was considered one of the hot-shots for the Golden Slipper. After failing on the big stage, and drawing off the track in this, the punters’ confidence has waned. So too his SP, at $81.00.
At his last run, Performer ran a shocker, and tossed Hugh Bowman into the turf. It would be a brave punter to think this colt could undo his wrongs on race day. He was under pressure in the Todman a long way out, and for me, the jury is still out. His SP is healthy though: $8.50.
Also at similar odds, is the Melbourne filly Seabrook to be ridden by Damien Oliver. Winner of the Sweet Embrace Stakes three weeks ago, she staked a claim to the Golden Slipper on that run. A good draw, with a tendency to race just off the speed, she could be there fighting out the finish. Definitely one for the trifectas, first fours and duets.
Fiesta ran second to Seabrook in the Sweet Embrace, and could be one for longer odds. Though she has Kerrin McEvoy aboard, she’s drawn off the track which won’t help.
The Hawkes trained Estijaab is one of the more expensive gallopers on the scene. The Snitzel filly cost $1.7 million and has only had three starts to date, including two wins and a second to Sunlight in the Silver Slipper some weeks back. Will probably be the one to take the lead, and could give them a merry chase if left to her own devices, though the wide draw is a worry. Jockey Brenton Avdulla knows all about runaway leaders. Remember Lasqueti Spirit in the VRC Oaks?
I was quite encouraged by Sandbar‘s run last weekend chasing Written By home in the Pago Pago. His prior three starts produced two wins and a close up sixth to Santos in the Skyline Stakes. At $12 for an SP, the market obviously thinks he’s a genuine chance, and so do I.
For this year’s Golden Slipper, I’m probably going to go with the favourite Written By. His run to win the Blue Diamond was exceptional, and he has form and credentials to be the legitimate race day favourite. Likewise, you cannot ignore the form of Sunlight, who has credentials similar to Written By. The top colt and the top filly will take some beating. For third, I’m liking the potential of the Hawkes filly Estijaab. She has genuine class/breeding, and more importantly, speed, particularly as a horse who likes to lead, but she’d need to come across from a wide alley.
Written By, Sunlight, Estijaab
For my roughie, I’ll go with the Queenslander Ef Troop. His SP of $17 is slightly south of many of his rivals, but he’s good enough to feature if he takes advantage of his inside alley (#2). His jockey Jason Collett is in good form too.
Golden Slipper – check the odds on William Hill