Randwick-based trainer John O’Shea will add blinkers to the gear of his improving Fastnet Rock colt Foxwedge for the first time in tomorrow’s $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in the hopes it will help him claim an upset 2011 Golden Slipper result.
Foxwedge is the current $8 third favourite to win this year’s Golden Slipper, the esteemed two-year-olds’ feature running as Rosehill Race 7 at 4:05pm (AEDST) tomorrow.
After winning over 1100m at Rosehill on debut back in November last year, Foxwedge resumed with a first up win at Warwick Farm on March 5 beating a quality field by an easy two lengths.
Last start Foxwedge proved he had genuine claims in the Golden Slipper running a game third behind Smart Missile and Sepoy in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 19.
In the Todman Foxwedge was drawn on the inside rail with barrier one, which was an unsuitable position considering the rain affected track.
For the Golden Slipper tomorrow, the progressive Foxwedge has drawn wider in barrier 11 of the 16-horse field and will be ridden by Nash Rawiller, the jockey seeking his maiden Golden Slipper win.
O’Shea will also be represented in this year’s Golden Slipper by his well-bred More Than Ready filly Elite Falls.
Elite Falls claimed an impressive win over one-time second favourite for the Slipper Satin Shoes in the rain at Rosehill in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) last start.
Sitting at a price of around $11 in the current Golden Slipper betting markets, Elite Falls really needs a rain affected ground to feature.
Jockey Hugh Bowman, aboard Satin Shoes tomorrow, commented on what he thought Elite Falls’ chances were to upset his filly for a second time.
“I really believe Elite Falls will need rain affected ground,” Bowman said.
“The wetter it is the more threat I think she will be.”
Bowman also named Smart Missile, $4.40 second favourite, as the one to beat and not easing top elect Sepoy.
“Firstly I Think Smart Missile might just be the one,” he said.
“He’s slipped in under the radar a little bit.”
O’Shea, however, is more confident of his Golden Slipper duo.
“Their preparations have been impeccable, they are at the top of their games…I could not be happier with them and that’s all you can ask,” he said.
Another promising two-year-old set to sharpen up with the addition of blinkers in the Golden Slipper tomorrow is Bart Cummings’ 11th hour entrant Salade.
While history is against the Snitzel colt, there has still been steady money come in for the $15 outsider.
Salade will be having just his second race start in the Slipper after winning by 2 ½ lengths on debut in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) here last Saturday.
No Golden Slipper winner to date has won the feature at their second race start.
Due to be ridden by Luke Nolen, Salade has a tough gate with barrier 12 tomorrow but is still one of the best chances for a minor placing.