A hot pace in Saturday’s 2017 Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill Gardens will suit the returning Breeders Plate winner Khan according to co-trainer Paul Snowden.
The nicely-bred son of Exceed And Excel is one of seven juveniles facing off in the $250,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) on way to a shot at the Golden Slipper Stakes on March 18.
The world’s richest two-years-old race, the $3.5 million Golden Slipper is a race Snowden and his father Peter won last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with Capitalist (2016).
Peter Snowden also took it out in 2011 with Sepoy for the then Darley operation.
In pre-field Golden Slipper Stakes odds the stable’s best hope of back-to-back wins in the lucrative Group 1 is Khan ($11).
On debut last October at Randwick the colt enjoyed a black-type win in the Listed Breeders Plate (1000m) coming from midfield to run down his opposition and post a tidy 1.3 length victory.
He races for the first time since in the Silver Slipper Stakes with jockey Kerrin McEvoy aboard for the suspended Blake Shinn.
Shinn rode Khan for his Breeders Plate success as well as two nice trials leading up to Saturday’s return, and Snowden said instructions to McEvoy will be the same for an off-the-pace ride.
“He’s not a speed horse by any means,” Snowden told AAP this week.
Current $5 Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign is the odds-on fancy at the top of Silver Slipper Stakes markets on Saturday.
Gary Portelli’s filly has won both her career starts for a combined margin of 12.3 lengths and Snowden admits that the fit favourite looks very hard to beat.
“Obviously we’re meeting a very fit filly here … she’s wound right up from that trial,” he said.
He is hoping the pace of the race works in their colt’s favour however as Khan races for not only a Golden Slipper bid, but also for his future stallion value.
“It’s a hot race and it’s going to be a big tempo so they will run along hard and that will suit our horse,” Snowden said.
“He’s had two trials and he’s heading towards a Golden Slipper but you’ve got make every post a winner because he’s a colt.
“He’s got to run well each and every time he steps up.”
Snowden’s father Peter agreed that She Will Reign looked the one to run down and admitted Khan was vulnerable heading into the race first-up.
“He will be vulnerable Saturday and that filly going the pace she does it will probably get him off the bit and he will be chasing a long way out, and it’s hard to run on hard when you’re chasing,” Snowden Snr. told The Advertiser.
“She is a very fast filly and it’s certainly not this bloke’s go. He has pace but he is not really an 1100m horse.
“I’m not making excuses for him and he will run well, I have no doubt about that because he is a quality colt but I just don’t believe he will be best suited in a race like this first-up.”
After the Golden Slipper Stakes Snowden added that they were looking to step Khan out over further distance.
He would be aimed at the $1 million Group 1 Inglis Sires’ (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 1 during The Championships followed by a mile run back at the track a fortnight later in the $500,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
“That’s the reason I didn’t go to the Gold Coast [for the Magic Millions in January] with him,” Snowden explained.
“I want to get him into the Slipper and then hopefully the Sires and Champagne afterwards and that’s what I’ve got in mind for him and that’s the prep he’s had to get him there.
“He is a very tough horse and nothing worries him and he has a gallop or a trial and comes back like he hasn’t been out there.
“He just copes with everything and hopefully he will come into his own over seven furlongs and a mile.”
To back Khan over the autumn at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).