The Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) headlines a massive day of racing at Rosehill this Saturday – the entire black-type racing card is headlined by five Group One races, the feature of which is the $3.5 million juvenile race.
The 173 nominated horses were whittled down to just 19 this morning (Tuesday) as final acceptances were taken, with the barrier draw to be announced live at 11:00am (AEDT).
A capacity field of 16 runners plus three emergencies features in the final field with all the favourites and usual suspects still in contention. The only surprise non-acceptor is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Flamboyant Lass, who will be sent to the spelling paddock after running second last in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 28.
That leaves Waterhouse with just three runners as she vies to win her sixth Golden Slipper – Vancouver, English, and Speak Fondly.
Lucky for her, Vancouver is the $2.80 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au, although that price could change following the barrier draw. The two-year-old colt has won all three of his career starts, including the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at the end of January and the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 7, often considered a key-lead up race towards the Golden Slipper.
Waterhouse will also two fillies – English ($13) and Speak Fondly ($17). The former won the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) on March 7 while the latter won the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) on Saturday, which means she’ll be backing up at Rosehill.
With Waterhouse choosing to not accept with Flamboyant Lass, John O’Shea will lead the charge with a four-horse assault.
Racing and breeding giant Godolphin are sending four of their best juveniles towards the 2015 Golden Slipper in search of a win in the world’s richest two-year-old race –Exosphere, Haptic, Ottoman, and Furnaces.
Exosphere was the $4.60 second-favourite in the betting before the market closed this morning, after his impressive four length victory in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) on February 28. Haptic won the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) on February 14 while Furnaces finished runner-up to his stablemate in the same race followed by another second placing in the Todman Stakes.
Ottoman is the lone Godolphin filly in the race, finishing fourth in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) on February 21 followed by a runner-up finish in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) two weeks later.
Three late entries were taken for the 2015 Golden Slipper yesterday afternoon, with owners of Fireworks, Single Gaze, and Odyssey Moon all paying the $150,000 late-entry fee. All three feature in the final field.
Other talented two-year-olds featured in the final field include Blue Diamond placegetters Reemah and Lake Geneva, Silver Slipper winner Headwater, and Listed Cinderella Stakes (1050m) winner Haybah.
There are three emergencies for the Golden Slipper – Inglis Classic third placegetter Serenade, Gary Portelli’s Racy, and Gerald Ryan’s Heavenly Hand.
Keep posted at Races.com.au for the barrier draw update.