Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
Canberra horseman Nick Olive is hoping to see nice progression from his well-bred filly Sizzling Belle who remains a chance to contest the 2018 Golden Slipper Stakes this autumn.
The daughter of former JJ Atkins winner Sizzling, Sizzling Belle is undefeated to date having kicked off her career this summer with back-to-back wins.
Olive is hoping she continues that form over her next few starts and earns herself a shot at the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.
Sizzling Belle is nominated for the Group 1 $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 24, but would need to improve her rating between now and then to make the line-up.
There is a chance for her to do just that at her home track on March 11 with Olive targeting her for the Group 3 $300,000 Black Opal Stakes (1200m).
“She’s a really nice filly. She made the progression from winning at Wagga to Sydney,” Olive, of Single Gaze fame, told Racing Victoria.
“I don’t know where she’ll run next time, but she’ll have one more run and then into the Black Opal at Canberra. That’ll be her main aim this preparation.
“Who knows, she’s paid up for the Slipper. If she can win one of her next two runs, she’ll probably be in the Slipper.”
One debut Sizzling Belle saluted by nearly three lengths over 1000m at Wagga on January 12.
A fortnight later she won again, stepping up to city company over 1100m at Rosehill to narrowly defeating Team Hawkes’ All Too Hard colt Outrageous in a two-years-old set weights plus penalties clash on January 27.
All-in Golden Slipper odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list Sizzling Belle as a $34 chance, a price sure to firm should she take out the Black Opal Stakes that month.
Last year’s Black Opal Stakes winner was the Gerald Ryan-trained Trapeze Artist (2017) who went on to win the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) by over four lengths in a huge September upset during the spring.
Trapeze Artist ran in the Golden Slipper Stakes after his Black Opal success for a sixth to She Will Reign, but quickly atoned at Randwick when third next-up behind Invader in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Other notable recent Black Opal Stakes winners Sizzling Belle will be out to emulate this season include 2016 Winterbottom Stakes winning sprinter Takedown (2015) and the champion Criterion (2013).
The first official round of Golden Slipper lead-up races take place at Rosehill this Saturday on Expressway Stakes Day.
The fillies face off in the Group 3 $150,000 Widden Stakes (1100m), while the colts and geldings battle it out in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
The Canonbury Stakes field attracted just the five hopefuls with the Chris Waller-trained Performer the one to beat currently sitting as the $8 second favourite to Sunlight ($6.50) in futures Golden Slipper odds.
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