This Saturday in Sydney jockey Tommy Berry will shoot for his third Golden Slipper Stakes win in four years and rates his mount Scarlet Rain a big hope despite her wide barrier draw in the Rosehill Gardens classic.
A full field of 16 starters plus an emergency is engaged for this year’s $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) in Sydney, including two for six-time winning trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Waterhouse co-holds the current Golden Slipper Stakes training record with her late father Tommy Smith and has the Todman Stakes winner Kiss And Make Up and her undefeated Manhattan Rain filly Scarlet Rain in the mix this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
A $10 chance in the latest Golden Slipper Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, More Than Ready colt Kiss And Make Up won the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 5 in an upset over Peter & Paul Snowden’s one-time Slipper favourite Capitalist.
He is now out to complete the double achieved by stablemate Vancouver (2015) 12 months ago with jockey Kerrin McEvoy, who rode Peter Snowden’s 2011 Golden Slipper winner Sepoy to victory, retaining the ride from gate nine.
Waterhouse’s other runner Scarlet Rain meanwhile is out to join Overreach (2013) and Mossfun (2014) as the most recent fillies to beat home the boys in the Golden Slipper Stakes with Berry aboard.
Berry won on Waterhouse’s filly Overreach and saluted on Vancouver last year taking out the Golden Slipper from opposite ends of the field, barriers one and 16 respectively.
“It’s frantic but so intriguing — a race that every jockey wants to win and I’ve been very fortunate to win it twice,” Berry said of the race speaking to The Daily Telegraph this week.
“You have to be positive and ride like you know you can win.
“If you’re drawn wide you can’t afford to worry about getting stuck without cover and if you’re drawn the rails you have to believe you will get that gap in the straight.”
He’s out to do it from out wide again on Saturday, Scarlet Rain drawn in barrier 16 but starting from 15 with the John O’Shea-trained Silver Slipper Stakes winning colt Astern in the outside alley.
Barrier 15 hasn’t produced a Golden Slipper winner since Waterhouse’s father prepared Star Watch for victory back in 1988, but Berry believes he has the experience and the right two-year-old to get the job done again this weekend.
“Winning the Slipper from the inside and outside gates has certainly taught me a bit about riding in the race,” he said.
“The first Golden Slipper rule is you shouldn’t judge a barrier until after the gates open. And at that point there is no time to worry about it.”
Scarlet Rain has won all three of her career starts to date including a winning debut at Rosehill in early January.
She saluted over 1000m at Randwick in the wet next-up before her last start victory from barrier 12 of 12 in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) with Kathy O’Hara in the saddle.
Berry rode her to victory first-up and is back aboard for the first time since in the Group 1, Scarlet Rain paying $26 to win, and said any rain around would only boost her chances.
“Vancouver was a big, strong colt, while Overreach had a bum the boys would look at all day,” he said making the comparisons between his previous Slipper winners.
“Scarlet Rain has a lot of natural speed and will be in the first three horses during the run.
“The weather is looking a bit iffy and she won very convincingly at her only start in heavy conditions.
“Better start doing my Scarlet-rain dance.”
Current Golden Slipper betting markets are led by Mick Price’s successful Blue Diamond Stakes quinella of Extreme Choice ($3) and Flying Artie ($5) drawn barriers seven and five respectively.
Extreme Choice might be the shortie in the markets to continue the good recent record of favourites, but the last horse to win the Blue Diamond Stakes – Golden Slipper double without another lead-up was Courtza (1989).
More recently Sepoy saluted in both juvenile classics, but he ran second in the Todman Stakes in between.
To check out the full Golden Slipper Stakes 2016 markets and back your selections at the right price this weekend, head to Ladbrokes.com.au today!