Local Rosehill-based trainer Chris Waller believes his smart filly Jade Marauder is peaking at exactly the right time for a shot at the classic Golden Slipper 2012 this Saturday, the daughter of Fastnet Rock ready to take on the big guns.
The $3.5 million Group 1 AAMI Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) runs at Rosehill Gardens as the highlight of Easter Saturday, the final field of acceptors to be released after 10am this morning.
Earlier today connections of early Golden Slipper favourite All Too Hard announced the boom half-brother of Black Caviar would not back up from their Pago Pago Stakes triumph last weekend and would skip the Slipper in favour of Saturday week’s $500,000 Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
The move will see Mick Price’s Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Samaready reinstated at the top of the Golden Slipper odds at bookmaker.com.au.
Another smart young female to watch in the Golden Slipper markets this year, however, is Jade Marauder.
Purchased for $500,000 from the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sales, Jade Marauder has gone on to win two of her four career starts to date.
She earned her spot in the Golden Slipper field 2012 with a good last-start success in the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 17 and Waller is confident she has come on since then.
He also knows that Samaready will take some beating, but he proudly announced this week that he wouldn’t swap his horse for anything.
“Samaready is yet to put a foot wrong but I wouldn’t swap Jade Marauder for any horse ahead of Saturday’s Golden Slipper,” he said.
“Yes, I may be a little biased but the improvement she has made since her win in the Sweet Embrace Stakes has been extremely encouraging.”
Following the release of Golden Slipper final acceptances at 10am will be the barrier draw at midday, Races.com.au to publish both once announced.
Waller said that while Jade Marauder’s final piece of work on Monday morning was exactly what he wanted to see, how she fared in the Golden Slipper barrier draw would be key to her success.
“Her final piece of work was completed yesterday and she certainly impressed,” he said.
“It was just the work I’d hoped to see in the week of a feature race and I feel she is peaking at the right time.
“Today’s barrier draw is crucial but I won’t be in tears if she happens to come up with a wide gate.”
Waller vies for not only his first Golden Slipper win on Saturday, but Jade Marauder will in fact be his first Golden Slipper starter after Fast And Sexy was scratched from the barriers last year.
“My Golden Slipper experience is limited as Jade Marauder will be my first ever runner in the race,” he said.
“Fast And Sexy got to the barriers last year but was scratched.
“It was tough not getting an opportunity but these things happen in racing.
“You just have to concentrate on sticking to the routine and treating this week like any other – even if there is a $3.5 million race dangling in front of you.”