Golden Slipper winners are a special breed. With the raw talent and ability to take on a big field in a big race and come out on top, there’s a unique quality only the top two-year-old in Australia holds.
Today at Rosehill another juvenile will add their name to the list of greats becoming the 2011 Golden Slipper winner and along with breeding and skill, the trainers of the Golden Slipper field play a big part.
The $3.5 million Group 1 AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) is scheduled as Rosehill Race 7 today and a full field of 16 starters, first emergency Do You Think earlier withdrawn, will take to the track to fight it out for the richest prize money in juvenile racing the world has to offer.
The great Tommy Smith holds the record of the most successful trainer of Golden Slipper winners having prepared six over his career with Fairy Walk (1971), John’s Hop (1972), Hartshill (1974), Toy Show (1975), Bounding Away (1986) and Star Watch (1988).
Smith also achieved the unique feat of being the sole person to breed, own and train a Golden Slipper winner with Bounding Away in 1986.
Today Smith’s daughter Gai Waterhouse will attempt to add a fourth Golden Slipper win to her own impressive resume.
Waterhouse was the first woman trainer to win a Golden Slipper in 2001 with Ha Ha.
That year was special for Sydney’s leading lady of racing as she claimed the Golden Slipper Trifecta with Excellarator and Red Hannigan finishing two-three behind their star stablemate.
Following that success, Waterhouse went on to win the 2004 Golden Slipper with Dance Hero and then again in 2008 with Sebring.
In the 2011 Golden Slipper field Waterhouse is represented by Shared Reflections.
Shared Reflections has gained popularity with the punters in the Slipper markets having firmed in from $18 to $15 to win Rosehill Race 7 today.
Last start the Umatilla filly scored a smart one length win in the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) earning her shot at Slipper glory.
This looks the ideal Golden Slipper form on paper as last year’s winner Crystal Lily took out the Sweet Embrace Stakes / Golden Slipper double in 2010.
Shared Reflections also benefits from her ideal barrier six draw today and the fact she is ridden by Damien Oliver who rode Forensics to Golden Slipper success in 2007.
There are four other horses in the Golden Slipper field this year prepared by a past Golden Slipper winning trainer, they are:
- #5 Masthead (Lee Freedman)
Freedman is seeking his fifth Golden Slipper victory having previously won with Merlene (1996), Flying Spur (1995), Danzero (1994) and Bint Marscay (1993).
Masthead will jump from barrier four with Craig Williams in the mount and is currently a $61 outsider in the Golden Slipper odds.
- #6 Salade & #16 Empress Rock (Bart Cummings)
Cups King Cummings is out to break a 32 year Golden Slipper drought, as his last success came in 1979 with Century Miss.
Of his lightly-raced duo today, Pago Pago Stakes winner Salade is rated his best chance in the Slipper the Snitzel colt paying $15 for the win.
Empress Rock, although drawn better in barrier three and also undefeated in their only start to date, is at a much longer price of $61.
- #8 Satin Shoes (Clarry Conners)
Undefeated in her first three starts, Flying Spur filly Satin Shoes was eventually beaten by Elite Falls last run in the Reisling Stakes.
She looks better today, the Rosehill track continuing to firm and no rain falling in Sydney. She has the ideal barrier two draw and is a market firmer now into $10 to give Conners his fifth Golden Slipper win.
The 2011 Golden Slipper start time is 4:05pm (AEDST).