The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Newcastle horseman Grant Marshall is preparing to bid a sad farewell to the stable’s star mare Slots who heads to the breeding barn after a swansong start in Saturday’s 2016 Toy Show Quality at Royal Randwick.
The seven-year-old daughter of Casino Prince was last seen taking out a Benchmark 85 over 1250m at Canterbury in the wet on July 23 with Lester Grace in the saddle for the last-to-first success.
“I nearly had tears coming out of my eyes last time,” Marshall told AAP this week speaking about that victory.
Grace reunites with the veteran for the last time on the weekend with Slots having her 40th and final career run in the $125,000 Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m).
“I told the owners last run was supposed to be it, but the stud where she’s going to stay while she waits to be served said she could have another run,” Marshall said.
Marshall paid only $1,700 for the mare at one of the dispersal sales for Nathan Tinkler’s now-defunct Patinack Farm operation and she has gone on to win over $321,000 in prize money.
A winner of seven of her assignments to date, Slots is best known for her Listed Just Now Quality (1350m) win at Doomben last December, then apprentice Grace also aboard for that ride breaking his own stakes’ maiden.
Marshall is happy to have Grace, who has been aboard for 12 of Slots’ 14 most recent starts, in the saddle this weekend with the mare shooting for her maiden Group win before bowing out of racing.
“He’s done a good job on her,” Marshall said of Grace.
“We could have had him in Brisbane but we tried to change something and it didn’t work.”
Racing NSW received 13 original Toy Show Quality nominations on Monday, entries extended until 11:00am (AEST) on Tuesday morning.
A host of other last start winning mares are in the mix including the consistent Chris Waller-trained Elle Lou, stablemate Pioneering shooting for four on the trot, John Thompson’s lightly-raced Nieta and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Tycoon Tara.
Tycoon Tara won the weight-for-age Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at the track in the mud a fortnight ago defeating a small field and is also nominated for the $125,000 Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) on the Warwick Stakes Day card on Saturday.
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