Unencumbered Set For Golden Slipper

January 14, 2014

Unencumbered Set For Golden Slipper

Magic Millions Classic winner Unencumbered will spend just two weeks in the spelling paddock before he returns to the stable to begin preparations for the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) Rosehill Gardens on August 5.

Unencumbered will have the chance to join Dance Hero and Phelan Ready as the only horses to have won the Magic Millions Classic and the Golden Slipper in the same year.

Unencumbered will have the chance to join Dance Hero and Phelan Ready as the only horses to have won the Magic Millions Classic and the Golden Slipper in the same year. Photo: Daniel Costello

Unencumbered won the Magic Millions Classic in impressive fashion on Saturday, his fourth straight victory, but connections suffered a scare after the race when he fell and dislodged jockey Nathan Berry, who was being interviewed at the time.

The son of Testa Rossa was found to have a trickle of blood in one nostril after a swab was taken by stewards on Saturday, but trainer Bjorn Baker said that he was not worried by the bleeding scare – even though Unencumbered must now trial in front of stewards before returning to the races.

“We had the horse scoped this morning and everything seems fine,” Baker told News Limited.

“He stumbled and tripped afterwards, then stood up and waited for Nathan (Berry) to get back on.

“I think (the bleed) might be related to that knock or maybe I hugged him too hard.

“I don’t think he’d bled, he’s never had a history of it, and he never coughed after the race.

“We’ll get him home, he’ll go home tonight, he’ll need a 1000m gallop, but he’ll be fine.”

The Group 1 Golden Slipper is the next major race on the agenda for Unencumbered and Baker is confident that his star galloper has the talent to join Phelan Ready (2009) and Dance Hero (2004) as the only horses that have won the Magic Millions Classic and Golden Slipper in the same year.

Despite the ease of his Magic Millions victory, Unencumbered is currently on the second line of Golden Slipper betting markets, behind talented Darley colt Earthquake, and Baker is also worried about the threat posed by Gai Waterhouse – who has won the Group 1 event on three occasions since 2001.

“He’s now won five from six, he’s won a Group 3, he’s won a Magic Millions, so at this stage he has to be right in the race,” Baker said.

“I haven’t had a good look at the others, but Gai Waterhouse is someone who I respect immensely, and I’ve tried to follow what she does in a number of ways.

“As a trainer I worry about every one of her runners in these two-year-old races.”

Betting markets for both the Golden Slipper and the Blue Diamond Stakes are now available with Ladbrokes.com.au.

Get involved with the leading online bookie to get all the best odds this autumn and receive a free bet worth up to $250!

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