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Caulfield trainer Mick Price, although not over the moon, has said his undefeated filly Samaready is still the horse to beat in the Golden Slipper 2012 at Rosehill this Saturday after she drew awkwardly in barrier 11 for the iconic two-year-olds’ clash.
Winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes in February, More Than Ready filly Samaready eased out from $2.50 to $2.60 in the bookmaker.com.au markets for the $3.5 million Group 1 AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) on Easter Saturday after the barriers for the 16-horse showdown were drawn.
Samaready is yet to start wider than nine in her four successful career starts to date, but Price and jockey Craig Newitt believe she still has what it takes to take out the Golden Sipper title.
When asked about race tactics, Price said that Newitt would be sweating over getting a nice position in the run early.
“He’s probably going to spend more time on where she needs to be in the race more than me,” Price said.
“There’s probably going to be six or eight horses in front of her.
“As long as she’s there at the top of the straight waiting for a run I think that will be pretty good.”
He also said that because Samaready was a little slow out of the gates ahead of her two length win in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) last start, which was also her first look at Rosehill, they would do everything they could on Saturday to ensure she came away well.
“There’ll be a man at the gates with her to get her to jump,” he said.
Samaready was reinstated at the top of the Golden Slipper odds after the non-acceptance of the Nathan Tinkler-owned crack colt All Too Hard.
While acknowledging that All Too Hard’s presence in the Golden Slipper field on Saturday would have been a big boost for Sydney racing, he personally was pleased not to have to come up against the undefeated half-brother of Black Caviar.
“I said thank you Nathan,” Price said cheekily.
“Look, for the sport and the game and the race it would have been good to see him (All Too Hard) in, but you’ve got to respect their decision.
“It would have been an interesting race with him in.
“(But) I can’t say I shed a tear.”
Other horses to suffer an early blow with wide Golden Slipper barriers include the John O’Shea-trained trio of Faustus, Ashokan and Shelford who drew gates 13 – 15 respectively.
Second and third favourites in the Golden Slipper betting markets Pierro ($6 bookmaker.com.au), one of five chances for Gai Waterhouse of winning a fourth Slipper, and Epaulette ($6.50 bookmaker.com.au) who will be looking to go back-to-back from trainer Peter Snowden after Sepoy’s 2011 win, both drew nicely in gates one and four.
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