Scone horseman Paul Messara and connections have opted to not pay the hefty 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes late entry fee to get last weekend’s Talindert Stakes winner Weatherly into the Group 1 field this weekend.
Beneteau colt Weatherly broke his maiden status at Flemington on Black Caviar Lightning Day with a smart one and a half-length victory in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m), completing his final 200m sectional in a sharp 11.62 seconds.
“I thought he was very impressive and was not at full stretch which is very encouraging,” Messara told Racenet.
“I’ve said previously I think he’s the fastest horse I have trained, he just has an abundance of speed.
“We (Arrowfield Stud) were devastated to lose (his sire) Beneteau so early in his stud career but in this horse I believe we have a worthy successor.”
It was an improved effort on his sixth to Cohesion on debut in the Listed Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview (1000m) in January, but not a strong enough performance to warrant a short back-up into this weekend’s $1.5 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield
Instead Messara and owner Oussama Aboughazale are focusing on how best to get the progressive juvenile prepared for a shot at the lucrative $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 19.
“Neither the owner or myself is keen to pay the late entry fee and back up into the Blue Diamond next Saturday so we will wait with him,” Messara said; Aboughazale also a co-owner of the horse’s late sire.
“We want to look after him and will aim towards the Golden Slipper.
“Getting there will be the tricky part with prizemoney deciding it so we’ll look at the options and work out where we go next.”
Futures Golden Slipper Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist installed as the clear $3.80 favourite.
Weatherly has firmed into a $17 shot in the all-in Golden Slipper Stakes odds after his Victorian win over the weekend.
Messara has had just the one previous runner in a Golden Slipper field, but hopes Weatherly can step up to the mark this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
This Saturday on Chipping Norton Stakes Day at Randwick the winners of the Group 2 Skyline Stakes and Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes are exempt from Golden Slipper Stakes ballot.
The next races after this weekend offering a ballot free ride into the coveted Golden Slipper Stakes field are the Group 2 Reisling Stakes and Group 2 Todman Stakes on Randwick Guineas Day, March 5.
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