The Clarry Conners-trained Look To The Stars was officially scratched from the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) Friday afternoon after succumbing a foot abscess.
The filly was Conners’ only shot at winning his fifth title in the $3.5 million two-year-old race, though the odds were stacked against her. Look To The Stars won her maiden over 1200 metres at Warwick Farm on March 4 but has failed to make much from her starts in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) or Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m).
Look To The Stars was also due to face a wide start in the 2015 Golden Slipper after drawing the outside gate. This burden will now be passed on to Gai Waterhouse’s Vancouver, who remains the $3 favourite in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
In 2009, Phelan Ready defied history when winning the race from barrier 16 but no other horse has done the same since 1957. Can Vancouver follow in the gelding’s hoofsteps and do the same?
Taking Look To The Stars’ place in the Golden Slipper field is first emergency Serenade from Michael Moroney’s stables.
Serenade won her maiden at Canterbury over 1200 metres by an impressive five lengths back in January before scoring a minor placing in the Inglis Classic (1200m) on February 7. The filly ran a close fourth in the Magic Night Stakes last Saturday, finishing just three-quarters of a length behind winner Speak Fondly.
The filly will enjoy a start from barrier six but will need to defy the odds, considering she’s the $101 roughie in the betting.
Moroney isn’t concerned about backing-up in the race after seeing how well the filly pulled up.
“We ran last week and were a bit worried about backing up, but after Tuesday we were hoping she made the field because she came through that well,” Moroney told Sky Racing.
“I think she’s a pretty smart two-year-old. It would be no surprise to see her right in it.
“You’ve got to remember she had not had a run for more than a month going into the Magic Night Stakes.
“She had a barrier trial in between and we’d had a week in the paddock. So there’s good reason to believe she would improve with last week’s run.”
Craig Williams, who was due to ride Look To The Stars, will now partner Serenade.
Take advantage of the Best Tote or SP + 20% promotion at Ladbrokes.com.au and you’ll receive an additional 20% on your winnings in the 2015 Golden Slipper.