Darley Australia will have a stranglehold on next year’s Golden Slipper 2015 numbers-wise after nominating an incredible 174 juveniles for the autumn classic.
On Tuesday the Australian Turf Club (ATC) closed first nominations for the 59th edition of the world’s richest handicap, the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) running at Rosehill Gardens in early April.
As of 8am (AEST) on Wednesday morning a total of 1217 juveniles nominated for the 2015 Tooheys New Golden Slipper, a true highlight of not only Sydney but Australian racing.
“The Tooheys New Golden Slipper is one of the world’s great races, there is no other race like it where success is passed on through the generations and shapes an entire industry,” the ATC’s Executive General Manager of Racing Matt Rudolph said.
Darley enjoyed a recent Golden Slipper win with superstar colt Sepoy back in 2011 under the preparation of their former private trainer Peter Snowden.
For next year’s edition the racing powerhouse has another large list of possible runners who are now prepared by John O’Shea, stepping in after Snowden’s departure earlier this year, 19 more than they had at nomination stage for this year’s Slipper.
This is a huge number for O’Shea who as a public trainer last season had just 19 Golden Slipper nominees in total.
One of their headline nominees is Commands filly Tremor who is a three-quarter sister to this year’s Golden Slipper runner-up, and Blue Diamond Stakes winner, Earthquake.
Also in the mix is a Street Cry colt that is a half-sibling to both four-time Group 1 winning filly Guelph and Ghibellines, and a nicely bred filly by Lonhro out of Camarena.
The record for the most Golden Slipper wins by a trainer is held by the late TJ Smith with six, his Hall Of Fame daughter Gai Waterhouse the next best with five winners to date and counting.
She has another bumper crop getting ready for a Slipper assault next Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with 109 possible acceptors up from 95 last season, her latest victory in the classic being with Overreach in 2013.
Waterhouse’s other Golden Slipper winners were Ha Ha (2001), Dance Hero (2004), Sebring (2008) and Pierro (2012).
Runaway Sydney Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller is also gearing up for another big season next autumn having nominated for 55 two-year-olds for next year’s Golden Slipper, plus an additional 22 nominations for his team coming from Star Thoroughbreds.
Waller has launched a heavy arsenal in one of the few Sydney majors he’s yet to secure a win in with, and among his entries are prodigy of many top sires including Choisir, More Than Ready and Fastnet Rock.
“There’s four or five he’s particularly upbeat about and they’re by the stallions you would probably anticipate them to be by … a Sebring two-year-old and a very talented filly by Starspangledbanner,” Star Thoroughbred owner Densie Martin, who won the Golden Slipper in 2008 with Sebring, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I think this year quite a number of his yearlings are in work for the second time a lot earlier.
“Chris has had his best year to date already with two-year-olds, albeit with a lot of winners after autumn.
“He will be guided by the horses and while we might have a smallish team, we expect to have a better idea by Christmas time.
“I was asked on [Tuesday] morning when we get an idea and people will sometimes say, ‘by now’. I like to say, ‘by Christmas time’.”
Last year’s Golden Slipper Mossfun meanwhile was prepared by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes and this year the Team Hawkes has 51 early entries including unraced Fastnet Rock filly Zara Bay.
Another notable representative is David Hayes with 60 hopefuls, his last win being back in 2006 with champion filly Miss Finland.
Also with large numbers are then Gerald Ryan (56), Gooree Stud (51), Mick Price (45), Bjorn Baker (33) and Tony McEvoy (22).
All the horses nominated for the Golden Slipper are also automatically entered into the $1 million Group 1 De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m), another Rosehill classic held during the spring.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming months for all the Golden Slipper 2014 nomination and field updates.
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