A bumper 2006 youngsters make up the 2016 Golden Slipper nominations for Sydney’s premier race for two-year-olds, early entries for the Rosehill Gardens feature closing this week.
Due to run on March 19 at Rosehill Racecourse next Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, the next edition of the $3.5 million Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) attracted 150 more nominations than at the same stage last season.
For the first time next year a rescheduled autumn line-up in Sydney will feature a three week long Golden Slipper Stakes Festival and the large number of nominees for the showcase race of the carnival is a boost for the Australian Turf Club (ATC).
“The ATC continues to lift the already iconic stature of the Longines Golden Slipper and these strong nominations are a significant vote of confidence,” ATC Chief Executive Darren Pearce said in a Media Release on Thursday.
The richest race for two-year-olds in the world, this year’s Golden Slipper Stakes saw ace Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse secure a record-equaling sixth win in the event with Vancouver (2015).
Waterhouse’s previous Golden Slipper winners were: Overreach (2013), Pierro (2012), Sebring (2008), Dance Hero (2004) and her first Ha Ha ($2001).
The lucrative juveniles’ clash also helps shape the Australian racing and breeding industry, with many valuable stallion and broodmare prospects winning over the Golden Slipper over the years.
“The worth of Vancouver as a stallion and the involvement of a global partner in Longines show the Golden Slipper as a breeding and racing event that influences the industry like no other,” Pearce added.
Vancouver is already in stud less than a year on from his win and was sold as a stallion for a figure reportedly in excess of $40 million.
Waterhouse has 113 nominations for the next Golden Slipper as she chases a seventh win that would see her surpass the record she currently co-holds with her late, great father TJ Smith.
The best represented stable in the Golden Slipper nominations 2016 meanwhile is Godolphin and head trainer John O’Shea with 158 hopefuls.
Godolphin previous raced under the Darley banner in Australia and won the Golden Slipper in 2011 with star colt Sepoy trained by the racing powerhouse’s former private horseman Peter Snowden.
Snowden now trains in partnership with his son Paul and together they have entered for 84 horses this coming Slipper.
Other well represented trainers include Lindsay Park’s David Hayes (86) and Sydney’s best Chris Waller (84) who is chasing his maiden win in the set weights classic.
Snitzel meanwhile leads the nominations for the sires with 106 of his progeny in the mix, the champion racehorse-turned-champion-stallion having run 12th as the beaten favourite behind Stratum in the 2005 Golden Slipper Stakes.
He is followed by: Fastnet Rock (86), Smart Missile (78), Sebring (77) who as mentioned won the 2008 Golden Slipper for Waterhouse, More Than Ready (62) and the ill-fated Northern Meteor also with 62.
First season sire Foxwedge will be out to make an immediate impact with 57 nominations while the aforementioned Sepoy has 53 entered.
Swiss watchmaker Longines hold Golden Slipper sponsorship in 2016 and have confirmed a long-term continuation of that for the three weeks of racing over the festival.
Longines is also the sponsor of Sydney’s richest race, the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) held at Royal Randwick in April during The Championships.
The first round of Golden Slipper acceptances close in October this year followed by the second declarations in early February next year, with late entries open until mid-March.
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