Trainer Michael Moroney has confirmed a possible 2015 Golden Slipper back-up Saturday week at Rosehill Gardens is on the cards for his “smart filly” Serenade should she win this weekend’s Magic Night Stakes at the track.
The Star Witness filly is one of 14 two-year-old female gallopers vying for the ballot exemption for the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) on March 21 on offer to the winner of this Saturday’s $175,000 Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m).
She is drawn mid-field in barrier seven with Kerrin McEvoy, who won the 2001 Blue Diamond Stakes aboard True Jewels for Moroney, aboard taking over for Glyn Schofield.
Schofield rode her last time out when Serenade caught the eye running a close third, beaten just one and a half lengths, by Lady Jivago in the $250,000 Inglis 2YO Classic (1200m) at Rosehill on February 7.
A five week freshen-up followed that run, before which she won over 1200m at Canterbury on Australia Day by an eye-catching five lengths, and all reports from Moroney are she’s back in form with freshness in her legs ready for the Group 2 challenge on Saturday when she returns to Rosehill.
“She was pretty unlucky at her last start,” Moroney told Racent.
“She led and they went pretty hard in front.
“Her effort under the circumstances was good.
“We gave her a chance to get over that, sent her to the paddock for a week to freshen.”
Serenade trialled at Rosehill on March 3 over 900m and ran a nice second with McEvoy in the saddle when a nose off Labdien in a hit-out that has bought her on fitness wise for the Magic Night.
“She had a trial last week at Rosehill and went nicely. We’re happy with the way she is going,” Moroney said.
Current Magic Night Stakes betting markets are led by the firming Chris Waller-trained favourite Always Allison at $3.10, Schofield on the undefeated daughter of More Than Ready who won the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) last time out.
Serenade also pays single figures to win at a quote of $8.50, out from $8.
She is also listed in the futures Golden Slipper odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying a juicy $67 to not just make the field but win and defeat the season’s top two-year-olds in the world’s richest race for that age group.
Moroney hasn’t ruled out a Slipper bid but Serenade needs to show improvement and win the Magic Night Stakes for the dream to stay alive.
“If she won the Magic Night well we’d consider backing up into the Slipper,” he said.
“She’s a pretty smart filly.”
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