Tomorrow a full field of two-year-olds will take to the track at Rosehill to contest the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and sometimes it can be just as valuable looking at the jockeys and their form as it is studying the horses’ themselves.
With 16 starters plus one emergency accepted for the 2011 Golden Slipper field, there are then 17 jockeys looking to become the star hoop to ride the winner of the world’s richest two-year-olds’ showdown.
There are just four jockeys with a ride in Rosehill Race 7 tomorrow that have ridden a previous Golden Slipper winner.
Horses to be ridden by a previous Golden Slipper winning jockey tomorrow are:
#2 Smart Missile – Glen Boss
Firming $4.40 second favourite in the Golden Slipper markets, Anthony Cummings’ boom colt Smart Missile advantages by having in-form hoop Glen Boss aboard tomorrow.
Unbeaten in their two career starts to date, most recently Smart Missile claimed an upset win over Slipper favourite Sepoy in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) here on Coolmore Classic Day, March 19.
Boss was aboard for the Todman win and will continue his association with the son of Fastnet Rock tomorrow.
The champion hoop has been in red hot form this season with highlights including not only his win on Smart Missile in the Todman, but his dual Group 1 success that day aboard Aloha in the Coolmore Classic and $101 roughie Zavite in the Ranvet Stakes.
Boss is the most successful Golden Slipper jockey racing this year having been aboard two previous Golden Slipper winners with Sebring (2008) and Flying Spur (1995).
Smart Missile and Boss are drawn in barrier five.
#5 Masthead – Craig Williams
Lee Freedman’s consistent Written Tycoon colt Masthead is one of the roughies in the Golden Slipper odds sitting at a current price of $67 to win.
Masthead has had five starts to date that have produced one win and two minor placings including hiss third to Sepoy in the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 26.
In the Blue Diamond Masthead was drawn out wide in barrier 13, missed the start and struck interference on the turn so his 4 ½ length defeat was still brave.
Last start on March 12 the colt ran fourth beaten three lengths by fellow Slipper rival Running Tall in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
As yet untested the Sydney way of racing, the punters have been reluctant to touch Masthead even for a place tomorrow.
Craig Williams has ridden Masthead for three of his starts including the Sires’ Produce and the colts’ sole win to date in the Inglis Premier at Mornington on February 16.
Williams rode 2006 Golden Slipper winner Miss Finland to victory and will be out to claim an upset aboard Masthead from barrier four tomorrow.
#9 Elite Falls – Jim Cassidy
One of the top six fancies for the Golden Slipper win, John O’Shea’s smart More Than Ready filly Elite Falls is at a current price of $11 for Rosehill Race 7 on Saturday.
Able to conquer Satin Shoes in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) here on March 19, Elite Falls needs a wet track to do her best in the Slipper.
She is not without her claims on firmer ground, but with a horror barrier 16 draw has a tough run ahead.
Jim Cassidy will do his best to get the filly across early and settle somewhere in the middle for a shot at Slipper glory for a second time having ridden the Gai Waterhouse-trained Ha Ha to victory in the 2011 Golden Slipper.
#12 Shared Reflections – Damien Oliver
One of the market firmers for the 2011 Golden Slipper, Gai Waterhouse’s progressive filly Shared Reflections has been backed in from $18 to $15 to improve on her last-start win in the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m).
Shared Reflections has loads of promise, a brilliant barrier six Golden Slipper draw and is Waterhouse’s sole shot at a fourth Golden Slipper success tomorrow.
She does need to show significant improvement and that’s the challenge, but she hits the line hard and produces great sectionals so a minor placing if not an upset is a very real possibility.
Oliver has one Golden Slipper notch on his belt having ridden Forensics to victory in 2007.
The 2011 AAMI Golden Slipper is one of five Group 1 features on the Rosehill racecard tomorrow and is due to jump at 4:05pm (AEDST).