Check out our comments for every runner in the $3.5million Group 1 below!
Year, winner, barrier, lead up race (finishing position)
2019 – Kiamichi, 14, Magic Night Stakes (1st)
2018 – Estijaab, 14, Reisling Stakes (1st)
2017 – She Will Reign, 11, Reisling Stakes (2nd)
2016 – Capitalist, 2, Todman Stakes (2nd)
2015 – Vancouver, 16, Todman Stakes (1st)
2014 – Mossfun, 11, Reisling Stakes (2nd)
2013 – Overreach, 1, Reisling Stakes (1st)
2012 – Pierro, 1, Todman Stakes (1st)
2011 – Sepoy, 8, Todman Stakes (2nd)
2010 – Crystal Lily, 1, Sweet Embrace Stakes (1st)
As of 7.49pm AEDT, Thursday March 19th
(1) Tagaloa: Impressive winner of the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne two starts ago, before he was given somewhat of a barrier trial in the Todman Stakes behind Farnan last time out. He hit the line well on that occasion and we should see him ridden with a bit more intent from barrier 6 here. That was his first time going the Sydney direction so he should sharpen up from that experience and he looks a leading contender.
(2) Hanseatic: I thought he had every chance in the Blue Diamond, however he did have to settle a bit closer than he normally does due to the leader bias track pattern on the day. He enjoyed a beautiful run and had his chance to run down Tagaloa – even though he was in the slower lane, the winner sat wide without cover throughout so I didn’t think he had any excuses. We can expect a much quieter ride from barrier 9 here. The four weeks between runs has to be a query, even though he won a trial here in Sydney leading in. No reason to suggest he won’t run well, but I have others ahead.
(3) Farnan: Hard to knock his form. He’s won four of his five starts, with his only slip up being in the Gold Coast Magic Millions, but his two runs since then have both been terrific. He got the better of Tagaloa in the Todman Stakes, where the margin was 1.8L, but this is a completely different race shape, so I can understand the market being unable to split them. Vancouver (2015) and Pierro (2012) both won the Todman Stakes on their way to winning the Golden Slipper, so it’s a tactic Gai Waterhouse has used with plenty of success in the past. We know he’ll go forward from barrier 14, and even though the draw looks tough, five of the last six winners have started from double digit barriers. Hard to beat.
(4) Prague: He had an unusually poor performance in the Skyline Stakes two starts ago but he did have four weeks between runs on that occasion so perhaps that could offer some explanation for his flat run. He bounced back in style, however, with a strong win in the Pago Pago Stakes last weekend and comes into this on the one-week back up. Handles the wet, gets a good run from barrier 7, and if you take out his Skyline Stakes run, his form looks very good.
(5) King’s Legacy: Won the G3 BJ McLachlan Plate in Brisbane back in December, before a 5th placed finish in the Gold Coast Magic Millions. He hasn’t been seen since, so comes into this race first up from a 10-week break, which is a big ask. Untested on wet ground and his breeding doesn’t exactly suggest he’ll love it.
(7) Mamaragan: Real smokey. He took out the Skyline Stakes at big odds on debut, settling outside the leader before coming away. It’s not easy to put up that kind of performance on debut, and we saw Prague come out of that race to win his next start, so the form certainly has merit. Dance Hero was the last winner of the Skyline Stakes to win the Slipper and that was back in 2004, so that has to be a query, potentially because of the three-week break between runs. Barrier 1 should see him ridden positively with Nash Rawiller on board. Can see him running a very good race.
(8) Away Game: Produced a couple of big performances to win the Gold Coast Magic Millions and then the Widden Stakes, before a very brave run in the Blue Diamond, where she was beaten 1.35L by Tagaloa. She comes into this with four weeks between runs which is a query, but she’s yet to run a bad race in her career.
(9) Dame Giselle: She was a 3.8L winner of the Golden Gift back in November, before returning with a sub-par performance in the Lonhro Plate as the odds-on favourite. She atoned for that defeat with a narrow victory in the Reisling Stakes. Overreach and Estijaab were two recent Slipper winners to come through the Reisling Stakes but I’ve got some serious questions over the form out of this year’s edition of that race.
(10) See You Soon: Resumed with a narrow defeat to Dame Giselle in the Resiling Stakes. She was only first up into that so she will have plenty of improvement to come, you’d think. She actually beat Dame Giselle on debut, before coming from nearly last to run 2nd to her in the Golden Gift. I think she can turn the tables on her in the Slipper but again, the strength of the form out of the Resiling is the query.
(11) Mildred: Has never run a bad race in her career to date. She comes into this after running 3rd to Dame Giselle and See You Soon in the Resiling Stakes, where she was beaten 0.6L. She should come across with Farnan to take up a position on speed. Doesn’t have the class to win but she’ll run her usual honest race.
(12) Personal: Ran a terrific race for 3rd in the Blue Diamond last start, but she did end up in the best ground on the day, which was hard up against the inside rail. She comes into this with a four-week gap between runs, though she did win a trial at Randwick since then. Drawn the carpark which doesn’t help her. Not hopeless but not for me.
(13) Muntaseera: Has been a bit disappointing since winning by 3.5L here over 1100m back in November. Her run in the Blue Diamond was good under the circumstances, she was out in the worst part of the track. She then started even money but was given a touch up by Minhaaj down the straight last start. Drawn out very wide, hard to see her in the finish.
(14) Hungry Heart: Chris Waller’s sole runner in the race with James McDonald booked for the ride. She resumed from a seven-week break with an impressive victory in the Sweet Embrace Stakes, where she defeated Stellar Pauline. The query there is that Stellar Pauline has run 2nd in every start of her career and is yet to win one. The last winner of the Sweet Embrace Stakes to win the Slipper was Crystal Lily back in 2010. Three weeks between runs a query, but gets her chance from barrier 5.
(16) Thermosphere: Follows a similar path to her stablemate Kiamichi who won last year’s Golden Slipper after winning the Magic Night Stakes a week earlier. Thermosphere saluted a big odds last weekend and is James Cummings’ only runner in this year’s race. The wet track poses no problem for her with both career wins being on rain-affected ground but her victory in the Magic Night Stakes was 0.61sec slower than Prague’s in the Pago Pago, so the strength of the form from the fillies’ race has to be questioned.
(17) Rathlin: Was good in the Blue Diamond Prelude behind Hanseatic and Rulership, but was only fair in the Blue Diamond, albeit unsuited by the pattern of the day. Drawn the widest gate here. Looks unlikely.
(18) Minhaaj: Somewhat of an X-factor runner who now gains a start with a couple of scratchings. Her two wins to date, both in Melbourne, have been simply dominant, first saluting by 5L on debut at Bendigo before a 4.5L victory over Muntaseera down the Flemington straight two weeks ago. The big query of course is the fact she comes off a straight-track win in Melbourne and now has her first run going the Sydney way, which is in arguably the strongest two-year-old race there is. So it’s a huge ask, but she’s shown no shortage of talent to date so has to be respected.
This looks one of the most open editions of this race in years. I think the colts have it between them. (3) Farnan has been impressive in his two starts since suffering his only career defeat on the Gold Coast. He should be able to come across from barrier 14 and take up a position on the speed. There’s none better when it comes to getting horses right for the Golden Slipper than Gai Waterhouse. He looks the one to beat. (1) Tagaloa will be the first Blue Diamond winner since Sepoy in 2011 to win the Golden Slipper, but it looks a realistic chance of happening this year. His Diamond win was impressive and his first run in Sydney was a good barrier trial for this. Expect to see a much more positive ride from the good gate. (4) Prague is another whose form looks very good apart from one minor blip a couple of starts back. He comes into this on the quick back-up after posting an impressive win in last weekend’s Pago Pago Stakes. (7) Mamaragan is the smokey in the field, having had just one career start, which was an impressive victory in the Skyline Stakes. (9) Dame Giselle and (10) See You Soon could be the best of the fillies.
With such an open race and a betting market which reflects such, you could back a handful of runners above. This could be a good back-to-lay opportunity with Farnan, who I expect to roll forward and trade low in the run. If he gets across to lead or at least take up a good position, he should trade fairly low early in the straight, where you can then hedge out for a result. He’s my top pick in the race so hopefully he goes on to win, but it’s one of the more competitive Golden Slipper’s we’ve seen in recent times. Farnan is currently a $6.00 chance on the Exchange.
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