Eye-catching Canterbury winner over the weekend, the Chris Waller-trained Jade Marauder has emerged as a genuine chance heading towards the iconic 2012 Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens this April.
The Fastnet Rock filly broke her maiden status when jockey Glyn Schofield guided her to a smart one length win over the Gai Waterhouse-trained Almighty Charge in the $70,000 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale Plate (1200m).
Jade Marauder, who was having just her second career start after running a brave third when beaten four lengths by winner Hussousa on debut in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Randwick back on October 1, did well to come from the back of the field and win on Saturday.
Overcoming a wide barrier 10 of 10 draw and looking to have plenty left in the tank after the 1200 metre showdown, Jade Marauder certainly made some serious claims for a strong autumn.
Waller indicated that it would be all system’s go with a Golden Slipper 2012 campaign for Jade Marauder after the win, the filly tipped to live up to her hefty $500,000 purchase price from last year’s Australian Easter Yearling Sales.
“We have plenty of time up our sleeve, which is something I have struggled with in the past, getting the timing right (for the Golden Slipper),” Waller said.
“There’s no rush, the goal is to be running in the Golden Slipper and performing well so whatever we do between now and then will be geared towards that.
“She is the sort of filly that could develop into a chance in those bigger races.
“The improvement she took from the first run to that suggests she is a very nice horse and she could get a tad further the way she relaxes.”
Officially the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Group 1 AAMI Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) is set to headline the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival action on Easter Saturday, April 7.
Jade Marauder’s next assignment will likely be the $100,000 Listed Widden Stakes (1100m) at Warwick Farm on February 18, a race won last year by the Clarry Conners-trained Satin Shoes who won the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at her next start.
Schofield indicated that there was improvement to come out of Jade Marauder and that she would have benefited from her first look at the Golden Slipper distance, agreeing with Waller that she would be suited over even longer.
“I think they are going to have a lot of fun with her,” Schofield said.
“She’s going to improve over a tad further and will benefit from the experience.”
The hoop also commented on the lovely calm demeanour displayed by the filly who looked at ease settling back off the pace before sweeping home.
“You could light a fire under her and it wouldn’t worry her,” he said.
Currently an expansive list of 1310 juveniles make up the Golden Slipper entries, that number set to be slashed on Monday February 2 when the Golden Slipper second acceptances are taken.
Waller is well represented with 53 early entries, 19 of which have been officially registered with a racing name.
Of these Waller indicated there were about 10 livewire chances for him to have his first starter in a Golden Slipper field, Fast And Sexy having been scratched at the gates last year.
“We’ve got three or four other unraced horses that are going into a Slipper preparation,” he said.
“We’d have probably five that are in her (Jade Marauder’s) range.”
The master Sydney trainer’s other most notable Golden Slipper 2012 candidate at this stage is Lonhro colt Fundido.
A winner on debut at Rosehill back in September, Fundido bombed out last start when 14th to Waterhouse’s star fillies Driefontein and No Looking Back, both of which are Golden Slipper bound, in the Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast a fortnight ago.
“He’s been a bit disappointing and that’s how quickly things can change,” Waller said of Fundido and his Slipper chances.
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