Not wanting to break tradition, it looks likely that connections of two-year-old Fireworks will pay the $150,000 late entry fee for the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) after the filly scored a come-from-behind victory in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) on Saturday.
Overreach and Mossfun, the last two winners of the Golden Slipper, both started their autumn campaigns with a win in the Widden Stakes. However with Fireworks not even nominated for the richest two-year-old race in racing, connections will need to fork over the late entry free if they want a chance at winning their share of the $3.5 million prize money on offer.
“I didn’t get her until September and she is a light filly so we didn’t think about the big races with her,” Ryan told Sky Racing.
“I’ll back off her for a couple of weeks and we will think about it.
“She’s in it now but it is $150,000 to enter.”
Fireworks was the $4.20 second favourite to win the 2015 Widden Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au after placing in her first two starts.
The filly got back in the field but came home strongly, grinding away at the leaders to nab the victory just a head in front of Lake Geneva ($9.50) and Igraine a neck away in third ($5).
Considering trainer Gerald Ryan had originally intended to rest Fireworks after she finished third in the Hyland Race Colours Plate (1100m) a fortnight ago, it was a great result for the filly.
“We discussed it but the Widden was here on her home track so we thought why not run her,” Ryan said.
“Although she is not very big she seems to be holding her weight well in training.”
Gai Waterhouse’s Giulietta ($2.80) led for much of the race but fell off in the concluding stages, finishing one and a half lengths behind Fireworks in sixth place.
The trainer speculated that the filly may have found the gap from her previous start, which was four weeks, too long.
“She was definitely on the worst part of the going — it was definitely an advantage being further out yesterday,” Waterhouse said.
“I think she came to the end of her run 120, 130 metres out. You saw her change stride, I would totally forgive her for that run.
“She is a pretty smart filly and the form around her is enormous.”
Check out the 2015 Widden Stakes race results and finishing order below.
Fireworks has yet to be added to the Golden Slipper futures betting at Ladbrokes.com.au but open your account in the meantime to receive a $250 bonus match on your first bet. Just quote code: BETBONUS.
2015 Widden Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||6||FIREWORKS||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||–||6||54.5kg||$4.20|
|2||10||LAKE GENEVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||0.2L||9||54.5kg||$9.50|
|3||4||IGRAINE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||0.5L||2||54.5kg||$5|
|4||7||MICUCCI||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||0.7L||7||54.5kg||$20|
|5||5||TEMPT ME NOT||Bart & James Cummings||Tommy Berry||1.2L||8||54.5kg||$12|
|6||2||GIULIETTA||Gai Waterhouse||Christian Reith||1.6L||3||56kg||$2.80|
|7||8||ENTRANCING||Garry Frazer||Tye Angland||1.9L||1||54.5kg||$20|
|8||3||PIERRETTE||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||5.7L||5||56kg||$17|
|9||11||YATTARNA||Bart & James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||18.8L||4||54.5kg||$41|
|–||9||ALWAYS ALLISON||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||–||0||54.5kg||–|
|–||1||CALAVERITE||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||–||0||57.5kg||–|