The John O’Shea-trained Astern leads the early entries for Saturday’s Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill Gardens, a traditional lead-up to next month’s 2016 Golden Slipper Stakes back at the track.
Racing NSW has extended nominations for this weekend’s $250,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) after a dozen two-year-olds were originally nominated for the set weights sprint.
Of the current entries the top fancy is the Godolphin-raced Medaglia D’Oro colt Astern who won over 1000m at Randwick on debut in early December.
The up-and-comer blitzed a subsequent Warwick Farm trial by two lengths over 800m on February 8, ridden both times by James McDonald.
This weekend McDonald heads to Melbourne to partner returning Golden Rose winner Exosphere in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington, Hugh Bowman to replace him aboard Astern.
Astern heads towards the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) on March 19 and is one of the early favourites in futures betting for the juvenile’s classic through Ladbrokes.com.au.
He pays $11 in the all-in Golden Slipper Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au led by the Peter & Paul Snowden–trained Capitalist ($3.80).
O’Shea has also entered Ad Valorem colt Morton’s Fork for the Silver Slipper who races for the first time since a Canterbury win over 1100m on November 7 during the spring.
Team Snowden meanwhile saddle-up Defcon who scratched out of last weekend’s Group 3 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) at Caulfield.
The son of Choisir ran second to Tessara on debut in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) in the wet at Rosehill in late January, which he’ll be out to improve on this weekend.
The next best fancied Golden Slipper-bound two-year-old nominated for Saturday’s lead-up is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Scarlett Rain.
Waterhouse is the most successful Golden Slipper winning trainer boasting six wins in the iconic clash including three in the past four years with Pierro (2012), Overreach (2013) and Vancouver (2015) last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Rated a $17 chance in the current markets to hand her trainer a seventh win, undefeated Manhattan Rain filly Scarlett Rain has won both of her Sydney starts to date.
The latest was over 1000m on a Heavy (8) Randwick track by over a length on January 23 defeating Twist Tops, a record she’ll be out to continue in the Silver Slipper Stakes won by the Team Hawkes-trained Headwater last year.
This season Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes have nominated Mount Panorama for the race, the Sebring colt to have his third career start.
Looking to break his maiden status, Mount Panorama ran third last time out beaten just under three lengths in the Canonbury.
The other most notable Golden Rose hope entered to run on Saturday is John Sargent’s Encosta De Lago filly In The Vanguard.
She won at Canterbury by a tidy two and a half lengths over 1100m on February 3 and is out to retain her undefeated status stepping up in class on Saturday.
Other notable entries include the Anthony Cummings-trained Fastnet Rock colt Pittsburgh who has form around Yankee Rose at the track from the spring and Gerald Ryan’s Canonbury Stakes fourth placed Lonhro colt Star Of Monsoon.
To back your favourite youngsters this weekend and in the upcoming autumn Group 1s head to Ladbrokes.com.au today and open a new account quoting the code BETBONUS when you make your first deposit to have it matched 100% up to $500 in bonuses!
2016 Silver Slipper Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Racecourse – 20/02/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer|
|2||2||DEFCON||C||2||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|4||1||IN THE VANGUARD||F||2||John Sargent|
|5||7x||KING OF WAR||C||2||Peter & Paul Snowden|
|6||21x||MORTON’S FORK||C||2||John O’Shea|
|7||63||MOUNT PANORAMA||C||2||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|9||025×2||RATHER SWEET||F||2||Gary Nickson|
|10||11||SCARLET RAIN||F||2||Gai Waterhouse|
|11||4||STAR OF MONSOON||C||2||Gerald Ryan|