Godolphin were already well-tipped perform well in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill this Saturday, saddling the majority of the field with a total of four runners. The international horse breeder has been given an even better advantage at winning the $3.5 million feature race after Furnaces scored the inside starting gate during this morning’s barrier draw.
The Golden Slipper barriers are vital to a horse’s chances at winning the race. In a capacity field, they can often be the difference between winning and losing. As we saw this morning when the final field was released, the 2015 edition of the race will have a capacity field of 16 runners plus three emergencies.
The inside barrier has been the most successful since 1957 providing nine winners, including three of the last six. Barrier one last produced a Golden Slipper winner just two years ago with Overreach (2013) enjoying the rails run jump. In the past five editions of the race the inside gate has also delivered winners Pierro (2012) and Crystal Lily (2010).
Furnaces was a $13 hopeful in the Golden Slipper betting at Ladbrokes.com.au yesterday but it’s safe to say his odds will shorten when the market reopens shortly. The John O’Shea-trained colt won his maiden on debut at Rosehill on October 25 before running second to Haptic in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) when resuming on February 14. He followed it up with another runner-up finish in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 7, finishing three and a quarter lengths behind winner Vancouver.
The colt will enjoy a ride with champion hoop Hugh Bowman in his saddle.
O’Shea’s three other runners have all drawn well; Haptic will jump from barrier three, Exosphere has drawn barrier ten and will be ridden by last year’s winning jockey James McDonald, and lone filly Ottoman has drawn barrier eight.
Gai Waterhouse’s Vancouver was the Golden Slipper early favourite with short odds of $2.80 but it is safe to say his price will ease after getting a massive blow in this morning’s barrier draw.
Vancouver drew the second-widest gate (18) but will come into barrier 15 if all three emergencies fail to make the field. Not that this is all that much better, considering only one horses has won from barrier 15 in the past 32 years – the TJ Smith-trained Star Watch (1988).
The colt has impressively won all three of his career starts, including the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) on January 31 and the Todman Stakes, often considered a key lead-up race towards the Slipper, which he dominated by over three lengths.
Tommy Berry will return to the saddle for the third consecutive time as he tries to maneuver his way into a good spot in the field.
Waterhouse was upbeat following the draw, believing Vancouver’s talent can rival a bad draw. The trainer will also saddle English (6) and Speak Fondly (12) in the 2015 Golden Slipper as she vies to win her sixth title in the race, matching her father.
The unlucky number 13 is the only barrier yet to have a winner since 1957 while Phelan Ready defied history in 2009 to win from the outside gate on a heavy Rosehill track. No other horse has won from barrier 16 since 1957.
Rodney Northam’s Odyssey Moon has drawn the 13th barrier but it’ll likely be Nick Olive’s Single Gaze that jumps from the winless gate. The two-year-old filly was one of three late entries for the race on Monday, with her owners likely regretting paying the $150,000 late entry fee at this stage.
Single Gaze was third in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 10 and ran second in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) on March 8. But the question remains whether the filly is good enough to break barrier 13s hoodoo.
The outside barrier is set to be occupied by Clarry Conners’ Look To The Stars, who was last seen running fifth in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m).
Check out the full 2015 Golden Slipper barrier draw below. Updated betting markets are due to reopen at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly. Open your betting account to receive up to $250 in a bonus match on your first bet.
2015 Golden Slipper Field & Barrier Draw
|1||1×11||VANCOUVER||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||18||56.5kg|
|2||113||HEADWATER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Glen Boss||11||56.5kg|
|3||1×22||FURNACES||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||1||56.5kg|
|4||11||HAPTIC||John O’Shea||James Doyle||3||56.5kg|
|5||7×11||EXOSPHERE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||10||56.5kg|
|6||1||READY FOR VICTORY||Mick Price||Nicholas Hall||9||56.5kg|
|7||1423||ODYSSEY MOON||Rodney Northam||Ryan Moore||13||56.5kg|
|8||11||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||6||54.5kg|
|9||8×22||REEMAH||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||15||54.5kg|
|10||3×21||SPEAK FONDLY||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||12||54.5kg|
|11||2313||FIREWORKS||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||14||54.5kg|
|12||0241221||HAYBAH||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||2||54.5kg|
|13||1×42||OTTOMAN||John O’Shea||William Buick||8||54.5kg|
|14||23||LAKE GENEVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||5||54.5kg|
|15||1332||SINGLE GAZE||Nick Olive||Ms Kathy O’Hara||16||54.5kg|
|16||22915||LOOK TO THE STARS||Clarry Conners||Craig Williams||19||54.5kg|
|19e||1×90||HEAVENLY HAND||Gerald Ryan||TBA||17||54.5kg|