This Saturday Warwick Farm will be host to two major lead-up races for two-year-olds heading towards the famed Golden Slipper 2012, the world’s richest juveniles event to run at Rosehill on Easter Saturday, April 7.
For the fillies on Saturday there is the $100,000 Listed Widden Stakes (1100m) while the Golden Slipper-bound colts & geldings will be racing in the $100,000 Listed Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
On Monday 10 fillies were nominated for the 2012 Widden Stakes, the most notable of which is Gai Waterhouse’s undefeated daughter of Fastnet Rock Driefontein.
A three-length winner on debut at Randwick in November, Driefontein became a Group horse at start number two when beating a quality field in the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben in December.
She was last seen being awarded with the lucrative Magic Millions 2YO Classic title at the Gold Coast on January 14 after winning the race on protest over her stablemate No Looking Back.
“Driefontein runs in Saturday’s Widden Stakes at Warwick Farm,” Waterhouse confirmed on the weekend.
“She has pleased since returning from the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast.”
Tommy Berry, aboard for all three of Driefontein’s career triumphs to date, will retain the ride for Saturday and he is also happy with her progression since the Magic Millions.
“Driefontein is going super, I’d say she has improved since winning the Magic Millions,” he said.
“I used to have to ‘niggle’ Driefontein to finish her gallops strongly but these days she is doing it on the bit.
“The trip to Queensland for the Magic Millions has really brought her on.
“She’s going better than ever.”
Other top fillies entered for the Widden include Peter Snowden’s unraced daughter of Exceed And Excel Incrimination and the John Thompson-trained Hussousa.
Husson filly Hussousa has had one run for one win to date having beaten home the likes of Snipzu and Jade Marauder in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Randwick in October.
She races for the first time since on Saturday but showed her potential again with a winning barrier trial over 855m at Randwick on January 27.
“She’s had one trial and she was unextended to win then she competed in a jump out at Randwick on Friday,” Robyn Hartney, racing manager for Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm operation, said.
Meanwhile, the current 2012 Golden Slipper favourite Raceway will be the headliner in the Canonbury
Waterhouse’s crack More Than Ready gelding goes under race conditions for the first time since their eye-catching four length victory at Warwick Farm on debut back on January 7.
“He is maturing all the time and getting stronger,” Waterhouse said.
The most noteworthy of their possible rivals on Saturday is then the Peter Snowden-trained Narcissus, the Exceed And Excel colt to make their debut if accepted for the Canonbury.
There are still 244 two-year-olds entered for the $3.5 million Group 1 AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m), late entries attracting a hefty $150,000 fee open until Monday April 2.
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