Slade Power, the dual Group One winner from Ireland, is set to get his swan song this Saturday in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) before beginning his new career in Godolphin boss Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud.
Trainer Ed Lynam was hopeful the six-year-old entire could be loaded last into the stalls even if he drew an inside gate after becoming agitated when left in the barriers for longer than usual without his hood during track work last week.
Following Wednesday’s final field & barrier draw announcement, Slade Power drew barrier four with Racing Victoria chairman of stewards Terry Bailey revealing the Irish sprinter would be loaded in under the usual procedures and would not be afforded any favours.
The field of 13 will be split and loaded in normal process with Buffering, who drew barrier one, being loaded first. Slade Power will be loaded fourth of the first group (1-7), which means he could spend some time in the barriers before jumping.
“The same process will be followed as we normally do with loading horses,” Bailey told TVN.
Bailey did reveal the Stewards have allowed Slade Power’s jockey Wayne Lordan to remove the entire’s blindfold, which is usually left up to barrier attendants.
“In the UK they are accustomed to the rider pulling off the blindfold rather than what we do here with our barrier attendants,” Bailey said.
“We are happy for that to play out like the jockey (Lordan) is used to doing it so we will leave it for him to do.”
Slade Power is on the third line of betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2014 Darley Classic, at a price of $7. Sprint star Chautauqua continues to dominate the betting at a price of $2.30 with Lankan Rupee the second favourite.
Six-year-old Slade Power is a winner of his last three starts, including back-to-back Group One wins in the Diamond Jubilee (1200m) and July Cup (1200m). It’ll be interesting to see how he runs on Saturday in his Australian debut and whether he can finish his career on a win.
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