Sutton Grange trainer Bent Stanley has an ambitions two-years-old autumn campaign mapped out for his promising filly Sweet Sherry whose grand final aim is the 2016 Golden Slipper Stakes in April.
The daughter of Bel Esprit has had two starts to date producing two very different results.
She debuted down the Flemington straight in early October last spring to win the Listed Maribyrnong Trial (1000m) by a half-length.
Her next start was at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day in the $250,000 Inglis 2YO Banner (1000m) where she failed to finish better than 10th behind Dalradian.
Sweet Sherry was slow away from the barriers second-up and lost a plate throughout, Stanley happy to forgive her the run where she was still only beaten four and a quarter lengths.
Over the break the filly has progressed nicely according to her trainer who cannot wait to get her up and going targeting the major autumn Group 1s for the juveniles.
“She’ll go Blue Diamond and then the (Golden) Slipper all going well,” Stanley told Racing Victoria this week.
“She had a trial last Friday at Ballarat, she went quite well there, she’ll go again on Tuesday at Bendigo before going to the Blue Diamond Prelude the following Saturday.
“She’s more mature, she’s come back stronger and going really good – it’s exciting to see her back.”
The $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) takes place at Caulfield Racecourse on February 27 and in the lead-up, the $200,000 Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) runs over 1100m a fortnight earlier at the track.
The Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude has produced two of the past four Blue Diamond Stakes winners with Samaready (2012) and Earthquake (2014) both completing the double.
Current Blue Diamond Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Sweet Sherry listed as a $26 chance, markets led by Mick Price’s Inglis Nursery winning Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice ($6).
Following the Blue Diamond Stanley confirmed it would be all systems go for Sweet Sherry to head to Sydney to target the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 19.
Stanley is yet to saddle-up a starter in the Golden Slipper field, a race that has been dominated by Gai Waterhouse in recent years, rating Sweet Sherry as the pick of his current crop of youngsters.
“She’s on top at the moment – she’s got the score on the board,” he said.
“There’s a lot of nice two-year-olds coming through but there’s no doubt the way she’s improved from last preparation to this preparation, she’s definitely on top of the ladder at the moment.”
Waterhouse holds the training record in the classic preparing six winners including three of the past four with Pierro (2012), Overreach (2013) and Vancouver (2015) last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Sweet Sherry is a genuine roughie in futures Golden Slipper Stakes betting this autumn sitting at the bottom of the all-in markets at $101 for the win.
Short priced favourite in the current Golden Slipper odds at $3.60 is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist, the unbeaten Written Tycoon colt last seen winning the Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic in early January.
Peter Snowden has a top record in the Blue Diamond Stakes however has prepared just one previous Golden Slipper Stakes winner with star colt Sepoy back in 2011.
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