Leading Godolphin hope Astern’s chances of success in Saturday’s 2016 Golden Slipper took a huge blow this morning when he was allocated barrier 17, however assistant trainer Darren Beadman is confident the horse has the class to overcome the horror draw.
Astern is yet to taste anything but success through his short but impressive racing career so far but was forced to take his position in a Warwick Farm barrier trial last week after being scratching from the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 5th.
Godolphin have been thrilled with the form and class displayed by the son of Medaglia D’oro so far and Beadman is confident the two-year-old is more than capable to place himself right in the finish of the 2016 Golden Slipper.
“Vancouver won last year from a wide gate,” Beadman said at the barrier draw.
“This horse has got natural speed and he’s in great order with great tactical speed, but it will need a ten out of ten ride from James (McDonald).
“He worked with Tessera this morning and John was very pleased with his work.”
Trialling well in the lead-up to his competitive debut, Astern immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow when delivering a handy field a comfortable two-and-a-half length defeat in the Surf Meets The Turf Plate (1000m) on December 5th before immediately returning to the paddock.
Again winning a strong barrier trial at Warwick Farm leading into his 2016 return, Astern jumped from the gates well in the Group 2 Silver Slipper (1100m) on February 20th and was allowed to stride forward by jockey Hugh Bowman and take a position on pace.
Experiencing a care-free run in transit, Astern was offered a clear racing line upon reaching the final straight at Rosehill; easily jogging clear of his rivals and maintaining a strong-enough sprint to hit the line comfortably in the clear of closest rival and fellow Golden Slipper acceptor Defcon.
Godolphin have been confirmed to launch a three-pronged attack on the 2016 Golden Slipper after also including Calliope (barrier 15) and Telperion (barrier 12) in this morning’s field.
Ladbrokes.com.au are currently offering Astern at 2016 Golden Slipper odds of $11 for success, while Calliope ($15) and Telperion ($26) represent terrific value at double-figure quotes.