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Gerald Ryan’s gun young colt Menari is right on the cusp of a confirmed spot in the Golden Slipper Stakes 2017 field sitting seventeenth in the latest order of entry.
The world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) will challenge Winx running in the George Ryder Stakes for attention at Rosehill Racecourse on March 18.
On Monday February 27, the Australian Turf Club (ATC) published the updated Golden Slipper Stakes order of entry with three juveniles now exempt from ballot.
Hot favourite in pre-field Golden Slipper Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3 for the win is the Gary Portelli-trained She Will Reign.
The unbeaten daughter of Manhattan Rain was last seen posting her third career success first-up in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on February 18.
She will race again this weekend chasing a four-from-four record before her Golden Slipper run, lining-up at Randwick in the $300,000 Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) as the odds-on favourite.
2017 Golden Slipper Stakes: Exempt From Ballot
- She Will Reign (Gary Portelli)
- Diamond Tathagata (Mark Newnham)
- One More Honey (John Thompson) – Not Nominated
Diamond Tathagata is also now exempt from Golden Slipper ballot after the Mark Newnham-trained Hinchinbrook colt won the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the weekend.
If there is a wet track on Golden Slipper Day, the current $41 roughie in betting could be set for a big run as he also finished second to She Will Reign on debut on a Heavy (8) Randwick course in the Inglis Nursery in December.
Winner of the fillies’ edition on Chipping Norton Stakes Day, the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes, One More Honey is also exempt free for the big one despite not being currently nominated for the classic.
In Melbourne on the weekend the gun Lindsay Park-trained daughter of Fastnet Rock Catchy continued her flawless career with a huge effort to take out the Group 1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
She has since been confirmed as targeting a Sydney run in the Golden Slipper Stakes where she’ll be chasing a lucrative double last achieved by Sepoy (2011).
Catchy sits third as the first of the non-exempt Golden Slipper Stakes nominations on the order of entry.
2017 Golden Slipper Stakes Ballot: Top 5 Non-Exempt
- Catchy (Lindsay Park)
- Pariah (Peter & Paul Snowden)
- Formality (Lindsay Park)
- Veranillo (John O’Shea)
- Teaspoon (Michael Freedman)
She is followed in the ballot by the brave Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Pariah for Peter & Paul Snowden who prepared last year’s Golden Slipper Stakes winner Capitalist (2016).
Capitalist came into the race on the back of a second in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m), a $300,000 race for colts and geldings running in Sydney this weekend alongside the Reisling Stakes.
The Todman Stakes and Reisling Stakes results will shake-up the shape of the Golden Slipper Stakes field with a further two exemptions up for grabs.
Favourite for the Todman, Menari, needs to win in order to confirm his spot in the capacity 16-starter Golden Slipper field.
He currently sits 17th on the ballot and was last seen running second to Pariah in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) in late January.
Ryan chases his first Golden Slipper victory and is hoping to also have his Magic Millions Classic runner-up Chauffer in the race for him, the Snitzel colt set to clash with his stablemate in the Todman Stakes 2017.
“I think he’s the forgotten horse of the Slipper,” Ryan said of Chauffer speaking to Racing Victoria.
“He galloped between races last Wednesday and he worked very well so I didn’t have to trial him today.
“He worked half a mile and ran home his final 800 in 28.5 (seconds), his last 600 in 34.4s and his final 200 in 21.54s so he didn’t need to go again this morning.
“He made really good improvement mentally since the Gold Coast.”
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