This Saturday the last races offering a ballot exemption into the 2013 Golden Slipper will run at Rosehill Gardens including the $175,000 Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) for the colts and geldings.
Ten horses are still in the mix for the Pago Pago Stakes this weekend, the race do or die for the campaigns of a number of youngsters heading towards the world’s richest juveniles’ race – the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) the following Saturday back at the track.
Sydney horseman Anthony Cummings is preparing to saddle-up two Golden Slipper-nominated debutants in the Pago Pago hoping for a win from either Danehill Dancer colt Drago (barrier 2) or One Step Beyond (barrier 5).
Of the duo it is Northern Meteor gelding One Step Beyond paying $17 who looks the best chance after three trials, including a third to Diamond Oasis at Randwick on March 22.
One Step Beyond is a $151 roughie in the Golden Slipper odds, a price that will be slashed should they come up with an upset on Saturday.
“They are both very nice horses and their trials have been encouraging,” Cummings said of his Pago pair.
“I’m sure they both have good careers in front of them but whether they are Slipper horses it is hard to tell. We are about to find out.
“If either was to win on Saturday, then we will sit down and have a chat about the Golden Slipper. That would be a nice position for their owners to be in.”
If either were to go onto score the Golden Slipper win just seven days later they would be making history with the talented filly Toy Show holding the current record having won the 1975 Slipper only 31 days after their race debut.
Another youngster out to break Toy Show’s record is the John O’Shea-trained Diamond Oasis who debuted with a win at Gosford over 1000m on March 11 when defeating the Gai Waterhouse-trained Divine Calling who won at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The Lonhro colt also won a trial at Randwick defeating Whittington and One Step Beyond on March 22 and will get every chance from barrier one with Nathan Berry aboard in the Pago Pago Stakes.
Diamond Oasis pays $6 to win on the weekend, jockey James McDonald retaining the ride, and is a $126 Slipper long-shot which will be their goal if they do salute on Saturday.
“I thought he would run pretty well on Saturday,” O’Shea said.
“If he won, we would run him in the Golden Slipper for sure.
“He is only third-up and is a big, strong colt.”
The two top-ranked Pago Pago runners in the latest Golden Slipper order of entry meanwhile are Good Job Bro (18th) and Dothraki (21st) who pay $5 and $5.50 respectively to win on Rosehill Guineas Day.
Both are also at triple figures for the Slipper with Dothraki right out to $151 despite the Gerald Ryan-trained Mossman colt’s credible third to All The Talk in the Group 3 Skyline Stakes (1200m) last start.
“I’ve put the blinkers on him and he is doing everything right,” Ryan said.
“The blinkers have switched him on and I’d be disappointed if he didn’t run very well.”
To check out the full markets for both the Pago Pago Stakes and the upcoming Golden Slipper 2013 head over to bookmaker.com.au where you can also Pick Your Own Odds on all the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival features!