Jockey Hugh Bowman has disregarded a wide barrier as a set back to the chances of Performer in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Bowman will be having is first ride back on Performer who dumped him when he ducked out at the 100m mark in the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 10.
Racing New South Wales stewards ordered the Chris Waller trained Performer to barrier trial before being allowed to return to the racetraack and the Exceed And Excel colt was on his best behaviour when he won a 737m Randwick trial on March 15.
Performer wore a set of blinkers in the barrier trial and Waller will put the head gear on the colt when he runs in the Saturday’s Golden Slipper.
Performer drew barrier sixteen in the original draw of sixteen plus four emergencies and if all of the reserves fail to gain a start will jump from gate thirteen in the final sixteen horse field.
The Rosehill track for Golden Slipper Race Day has been rated a soft 7 on Thursday afternoon and Bowman is thinking the wide barrier might not be such a big disadvantage on a rain affected track.
“I was a little flattened when I saw barrier 16 but with the likely rain-affected track it might nullify the wide draw,” Bowman told New South Wales Racing Desk.
“It’s exciting going into the race with a genuine top contender.”
“I’m looking forward to being reunited with him. I was very impressed with his trial. He had the blinkers on.”
“My gut feel is they would have gone on anyways for the Golden Slipper regardless of what happened in the Todman.”
“He is an exciting colt and has given me a great deal of confidence since the first time I sat on him.”
Prior to Performer’s unruly behaviour in the Todman Stakes, he was undefeated from two race starts with a win in the Listed $150,000 Arrowfield Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick on September and a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Toyota Material Handling Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on February 3.
Performer has drifted slightly in the Golden Slipper betting to be marked at $10 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Sunlight as the $4.20 favourite just ahead of the Blue Diamond Stakes winner Written By at $4.80.
Victorian filly Seabrook at $9 and the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Santos at $9.50 are the only other runners under the $10 mark.