While the focus on the current crop of two-year-old is firmly on the Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne this month, second acceptances for the richest juveniles race in the world, the 2013 Golden Slipper set to run in April, have also been taken with 196 hopefuls still in the mix for the jewel in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival crown.
The $3.5 million Group 1 Tooheys New Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) is scheduled to light up Rosehill Gardens Racecourse on Saturday April 6 and which youngsters will make the cut is starting to become clearer with the autumn feature fast approaching.
Gai Waterhouse, who won the classic 12 months ago with super colt and Triple Crown champ Pierro, this year has 24 second acceptors.
Among her more notable hopefuls are Zizou colt who won the Inglis Classic on debut Marseille Roulette racing again this weekend in the Blue Diamond Prelude, Tale Of The Cat colt Whittington who won the Listed NSW Breeders Plate (1000m) by a breezy three lengths last October (the same race Pierro won the previous year) and Inglis Debutants Stakes runner-up Overreach.
Also with a strong hand in the Golden Slipper 2013 second declarations are Darley Australia and their head trainer Peter Snowden with 16 entries.
Exceed And Excel colt Safeguard, who won at Flemington by two lengths on debut back in December, is the best of their hopes at this stage sitting on the second line of the ante-post Golden Slipper betting markets at the online bookies.
Their other big name entry is Guelph, the Exceed And Excel filly second pick to win the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 23 after her first-up win at Warwick Farm on Australia Day.
The other more notable Snowden-trained entry is then black type winner Kuroshio, who is also Blue Diamond bound racing in the colts and geldings Prelude at Caulfield this weekend.
Futures Golden Slipper odds are currently led by Villa Verde who is the sole entry for Bendigo horseman Shaun Dwyer and who Dwyer had described as the most exciting two-year-old he’s prepared since his 2003 Magic Millions Classic winner Regimental Gal .
The unbeaten daughter of Not A Single Doubt, who is yet to race this season, stormed into Slipper calculations after her debut win in the Listed Inglis Debutants Stakes last October after which she also won a black type on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington by three lengths.
Other juveniles topping the ante-post Golden Slipper odds include the Gerald Ryan-trained Charlie Boy, Peter Moody’s Gimcrack Stakes winner Brilliant Bisc who the bookies are taking no chances with despite them not currently being nominated, and unraced New Approach filly Myladyluck.
Myladyluck is just one of many two-year-old Slipper hopes yet to make their race debut, adding a level of intrigue to the lucrative feature according to the Australian Turf Club (ATC) Executive General Manager of Racing Matt Rudolph.
“The Tooheys New Golden Slipper is always an eagerly anticipated event which has a huge reach across all of the industry’s stakeholders,” Rudolph said.
“It’s a grand-slam event for trainers and jockeys, a potential life-changer for owners and breeders and a puzzle of fast moving parts for race goers and punters right up until the last qualifying races the week before.
“The question we all love to ask at this time of the year is have we seen the Slipper winner yet?”
Late entries for the Golden Slipper remain open until Easter Monday, April 1, before the 2013 Golden Slipper final field of acceptances is released on Tuesday April 2.
Between now and then there are seven races offering a Golden Slipper ballot exemption to the winner with:
- $200,000 Group 2 Patinack Farm Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) – 2 March, Rosehill
- $125,000 Group 3 Les Johnson Memorial Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) – 16 March, Warwick Farm
- $125,000 Group 3 Hylands Race Colours Skyline Stakes – 16 March, Warwick Farm
- $300,000 Group 2 Moet & Chandon Reisling Stakes (1200m) – 23 March, Rosehill
- $300,000 Group 2 Spotless Todman Stakes (1200m) – 23 March, Rosehill
- $175,000 Group 2 Parramatta Leagues Club Magic Night Stakes (1200m) – 30 March, Rosehill
- $175,000 Group 2 Bowermans Office Furniture Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) – 30 March, Rosehill
Our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au is due to open their Golden Slipper betting odds shortly so make sure you’re signed up with the sportsbook rewarding new customers with a $400 bonus welcome bet to get in on the action!