The John O’Shea-trained Golden Slipper Stakes fancy for next month Astern is the firming odds-on favourite for his second career run this weekend in Rosehill’s Silver Slipper Stakes 2016.
A field of seven two-year-olds is engaged for this season’s $250,000 Group 2 Uvex Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) including the Godolphin-raced Medaglia D’Oro colt Astern
The youngster did it easy on debut at Randwick in December winning over 1000m by two and a half lengths, and enjoyed a similarly impressive two length winning Warwick Farm hit-out over 800m on February 8.
He is on track for next month’s $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) back at Rosehill Gardens and is dominated favourite in Silver Slipper Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for his lead-up run on Saturday.
Astern currently pays $1.70, backed in already from $1.80, in the Silver Slipper Stakes odd but trainer O’Shea has warned the horse isn’t wound up 100% yet.
Two of his rivals are also at single-figures to win the race both Pierro (2012) and Mossfun (2014) won on way to their recent Golden Slipper Stakes victories.
Peter & Paul Snowden saddle-up Defcon ($3.30) in the outside barrier (7) on the back of a Rosehill trial on Monday that the son of Choisir contested instead of Caulfield’s Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) that he was scratched from last Saturday.
Defcon’s debut on January 30 produced a second on a Heavy (8) Rosehill track in the Group 3 Canonbruy Stakes (1100m) that he is out to go one better than on Saturday.
The last of the runners under $10 is then the rails-drawn Mount Panorama ($8) who Tommy Berry rides again on the back of a third in the Canonbury Stakes late last month.
The best fancied of the other hopes out to score the upset paying $11 is King Of War drawn well in barrier two with Kerrin McEvoy booked for the ride.
A stablemate of Defcon’s, the Exceed And Excel colt was seventh to spruik filly Yankee Rose in his only run to date over 1100m at Rosehill last October, but has blitzed a subsequent trial at the track with a three and a half length win over 900m this week.
Rather Sweet ($26) could be a surprise placegetter at a juicy price from barrier four, the Gary Nickson-trained Mutawaajid filly coming off a first-up second to Tale Of Choice at Warwick Farm from February 10.
That was her fourth career start and second time finishing in the money, Rather Sweet back up to black-type company for the first time since her failed 11th to Calliope on debut at Randwick last October when beaten eight lengths in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m).
Rounding out the Silver Slipper Stakes field and betting markets are the Anthony Cummings-trained Fastnet Rock colt Pittsburgh ($31) who also has form around Yankee Rose from the spring and Bede Murray’s two-time winner Rafha’s Choice ($81) who ran a distant 12th last start in the Inglis Classic (1200m) at the start of the month.
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