Waterhouse’s Fighting 2014 Golden Slipper Hope

Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse has uncovered a genuine Golden Slipper 2014 chance in Fighting Sun who enjoyed a win on debut at Rosehill on Saturday.

Fighting Sun

Fighting Sun will bypass the Magic Millions Classic in favour of a 2014 Golden Slipper bid in the autumn. Photo: Steve Hart.

While the promising colt is qualified for the $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) in Queensland this weekend, Waterhouse instead is eyeing a shot at the world’s richest juvenile’s race with Fighting Sun during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

She’s hoping the son of ill-fated sire Northern Meteor can develop into one of the favourites for the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 after their smart effort on Saturday.

Jumping the $2.40 favourite the James McDonald-ridden Fighting Sun was able to beat home last start Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate winner Boomwaa to take out the $85,000 ATC Membership on Sale Now Plate (1100m) by three quarters of a length.

Originally there were talks of Fighting Sun joining Waterhouse’s 2014 Magic Millions Classic contingent on the Gold Coast this weekend.

However she’s more focused on getting him into peak condition for a Slipper campaign according to post-win comments made by her stable rep Mark Newnham to AAP on Saturday.

“Gai has had him earmarked as a Golden Slipper horse,” Newnham said.

“She would rather keep him here (in Sydney) and wait.

“He was really relaxed today. He paraded without turning a hair and that’s what you want to see.

“Gai will pick and choose which races to use for his Slipper preparation.

“She is big on history and likes to study what races have the best records.”

As for Saturday’s runner-up Boomwaa who led into the straight before being run down by Fighting Sun, trainer Robbie Laing was far from discouraged by the Mutawaajid gelding’s effort and said it was all systems go toward the $250,000 Inglis Classic in a fortnight.

“The wraps on Gai’s horse were big,” he said.

“My horse hadn’t had a trial and he missed the kick a bit so all in all it was a good effort.

“He’ll benefit from it and the good thing is the horses which finished around him are ineligible for the Classic.”

Waterhouse has enjoyed a stellar five Golden Slipper victories to date, just one less than the record of six held by her late father Tommy Smith.

She’s won the past two editions of the classic too following the success of now first season sire Pierro (2012) and sharp filly Overreach (2013).

She will still be well represented in Saturday’s Magic Millions Classic field however with Cyclone and Echo Gal both set to run.

Grey Sebring colt Cyclone is the shortest fancied of the duo despite being yet to win a race.

They debuted at Kensington with a third on December 7 before just being nosed out of a 1100m win at Rosehill last start on December 21 where they were badly hampered near the 200m mark.

Echo Gal meanwhile caught the eye in their debut winning at Warwick Farm by a blistering four lengths.

The Stratum filly fell out with her fans next run however when failing badly in the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) where she finished nearly 17 lengths away eighth running second last.

She worked well in front of the stewards on Saturday morning in Queensland however after suffering thumps in the BJ McLachlan.

“Echo Gal worked fantastic,” Newnham said.

“(Steward) Alan Reardon was there and he and the vet were happy with her so all going well she runs in the Millions.”

In the pre-field Magic Million Classic markets Waterhouse’s duo pay $13 and $21 respectively, markets led by BJ McLachlan Stakes winner Unencumbered ($4).

Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the Magic Millions Classic field to be released later today.

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