Anthony Cummings’ is gaining confidence by the hour that his promising two-year-old Smart Missile can claim another upset over star colt Sepoy in the 2011 Golden Slipper at Rosehill on Saturday following the barrier draw for the world’s richest two-year-olds race.
The final field and barriers for the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), the scheduled feature of a stunning all black-type programme at Rosehill on April 2, saw the acceptance of 17 juveniles.
Favourite to become the 2011 Golden Slipper winner since betting on the autumn carnival showpiece opened last month, Sepoy has eased out in the odds now paying around $3.30.
After winning his first four starts in succession including the prestigious Blue Diamond Stakes on February 26 at Caulfield, the Darley-owned son of Elusive Quality suffered his first defeat last start.
In unsuitably wet conditions at Rosehill on March 19, Fastnet Rock colt Smart Missile was able to claim an upset win and beat home Sepoy by nearly a length in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
Smart Missile, unbeaten to date having won on debut in the Listed NSW Breeders Plate (1000m) last October before his Todman success, came up trumps in the Golden Slipper barrier draw today with gate five.
The firming second-favourite in the Slipper odds, Smart Missile looks set to again conquer Sepoy on Saturday.
Even before the Golden Slipper barriers were released Anthony Cummings named Smart Missile as one of the hardest of the hopefuls to beat.
If first emergency Do You Think doesn’t gain a start in the Slipper, Sepoy will move into barrier nine, still the widest gate the Snowden-trained juvenile has had to contest from so far.
However, it is not the barriers but the weather that has punters concerned over the big bets placed on Sepoy earlier in the season.
Sepoy failed to let down in the wet during his run in the Todman while Smart Missile cruised to victory so with the predicted rain in Sydney this week Snowden and crew do have reason to be concerned.
The other fancy for the Golden Slipper that needs a dry track to be at their best is the Clarry Conners-trained Satin Shoes.
Clarry Conners’ Flying Spur filly once sat second behind Sepoy in the Golden Slipper odds after she took her record to three from three with a smart win in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
However, Satin Shoes drifted out to a double-figure outsider for the Slipper when she too failed to let down in the wet and was beaten for the first time in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) on March 19.
Satin Shoes is now paying around $12 in the markets for the Golden Slipper, a generous price considering she drew favourably with gate two.
Conners is seeking his fifth Golden Slipper success having previously taken out the feature with Belle du Jour (2000), Prowl (1998), Burst (1992) and Tierce (1991).
The filly that put an end to Satin Shoes flawless succession of starts was the John O’Shea-trained Elite Falls.
A proven performer on slow ground, More Than Ready filly Elite Falls twice ran second to Satin Shoes prior to turning the tables in the Reisling.
In the Golden Slipper barriers Elite Falls drew gate 16.
O’Shea commented after the draw that he was not concerned with his filly’s wide gate.
“I think with Elite Falls 16 is better than one for her. She will go back and I think there is enough of a tempo for Jimmy Cassidy,” O’Shea said.
Elite Falls is rated an $11 chance to claim an upset Golden Slipper result.
Foxwedge is the other top fancy in the Golden Slipper betting paying around $8 and is the second runner for O’Shea in this year’s race.
Coming off a third place in the Todman, Foxwedge also drew a double-digit barrier for the Golden Slipper with gate 11 and Nash Rawiller booked for the ride.
“Foxwedge will hopefully come into 10 with the emergency and I think that is ideal. We have drawn just outside the favourite and we can sit outside him (Sepoy) and get a lovely run,” O’Shea said.
See below for the complete 2011 AAMI Golden Slipper field, barriers, weights and jockeys.
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2011 AAMI Golden Slipper Field, Barriers & Weights
|1||SEPOY||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||10||56.5|
|2||SMART MISSILE||Anthony Cummings||Glen Boss||5||56.5|
|3||RUNNING TALL||Danny O’Brien||Ben Melham||8||56.5|
|4||FOXWEDGE||John O’Shea||Nash Rawiller||11||56.5|
|5||MASTHEAD||Lee Freedman||Craig Williams||4||56.5|
|6||SALADE||Bart Cummings||Luke Nolen||12||56.5|
|7||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Corey Brown||7||56.5|
|8||SATIN SHOES||Clarry Conners||Hugh Bowman||2||54.5|
|9||ELITE FALLS||John O’Shea||Jim Cassidy||16||54.5|
|10||KARUTA QUEEN||Neville Layt||Tommy Berry||13||54.5|
|11||ALTAR||Peter Snowden||Joshua Parr||14||54.5|
|12||SHARED REFLECTIONS||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||6||54.5|
|13||SARAMENHA||Gerald Ryan||Nathan Berry (a)||15||54.5|
|14||FAST AND SEXY||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||17||54.5|
|15||MOSHEEN||Leon Corstens||Danny Nikolic||1||54.5|
|16||EMPRESS ROCK||Bart Cummings||Michael Rodd||3||54.5|
|17e||DO YOU THINK||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||9||56.5|