A capacity line-up of 16 two-year-olds plus four emergencies has been released for Saturday’s Group 1 $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens with the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes winner Written By donning the No. 1 saddlecloth.
The world’s richest race for juveniles, Saturday’s Golden Slipper Stakes is the marquee race at the meeting that also features super mare Winx chasing her world record 17th Group 1 success in the Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
The official Golden Slipper field for 2018 is a star-studded line-up of the season’s top two-year-olds including the undefeated Grahame Begg-trained Written By.
Written Tycoon colt Written By won Melbourne’s Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) two back before travelling to Sydney last weekend.
He blitzed his first run the right-handed way with an all-the-way triumph in Rosehill’s Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) in slick time.
Written By is now one of the top two in Golden Slipper betting at Ladbrokes.com.au looking to do the Pago Pago Stakes – Golden Slipper double for the first time since Stratum in 2005.
The other best out of last weekend’s Pago Pago Stakes on the quick back-up into the Slipper field is the progressive Brad Widdup-trained Sandbar from Hawkesbury.
A nicely-bred son of Snitzel, Sandbar put in an eye-catching run in behind Written By on the back of a close sixth when under two and a half-lengths beaten in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) the run prior.
He is proven over the 1200m having won at Canterbury over the Slipper distance on debut in January and shapes-up as a livewire prospect at a price with Christian Reith retaining the ride.
Favourite to win the Golden Slipper Stakes on the weekend however is the gun filly Sunlight prepared by Tony McEvoy.
The daughter of Zoustar has won her past five on the trot including back-to-back Rosehill wins in the lead-up to Golden Slipper Day.
She was impressive back in mid-January at the Gold Coast taking out the lucrative $2 million Restricted Listed Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) by two lengths and has since proved her class in the Sydney races.
She won the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) in late February and last weekend’s Group 3 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) against her own kind and now takes on the colts and geldings.
Punters have to go back to Calaway Gal (2nd in 2002) to find the last Golden Slipper winner to come off a Magic Night lead-up, while the double has not been completed since Bint Marscay in 1993.
McEvoy is dually represented in the race with his other filly Oohood looking to break her maiden status at career start number five.
The daughter of I Am Invincible has been thereabouts over her career including her last start third to Written By back in the Blue Diamond Stakes back in late February.
Last year’s Golden Slipper winning trainer Gary Portelli stole the show with the filly She Will Reign ($8 in 2017) who saluted on the Heavy (10) track and he returns with a bunch of excited owners saddling-up Secret Lady.
Secret Lady just snuck into the final 16 Golden Slipper hopes after her fourth to Sunlight in last Saturday’s Magic Night Stakes.
Portelli is looking to go back-to-back in the race for the first time since Gai Waterhouse (2012-13).
Waterhouse holds the record with six previous Golden Slipper winners and chases her seventh on Saturday with in-form Skyline Stake winner Santos.
The official Golden Slipper Stakes 2018 barriers will be announced from 11am (AEDT).
Final 2018 Golden Slipper Field
Rosehill Gardens Racecourse – Saturday March 24, 2018
|1||WRITTEN BY||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs|
|2||SANTOS||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark|
|3||AYLMERTON||Jean Dubois||Tommy Berry|
|4||LONG LEAF||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Blake Shinn|
|5||PERFORMER||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman|
|6||EF TROOP||Tony Gollan||Jason Collett|
|7||PRAIRIE FIRE||Mick Price||Mark Zahra|
|8||SANDBAR||Brad Widdup||Christian Reith|
|9||ENBIHAAR||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Stephen Baster|
|10||SUNLIGHT||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie|
|11||ESTIJAAB||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla|
|12||OOHOOD||Tony McEvoy||Zac Purton|
|13||FIESTA||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy|
|14||SIZZLING BELLE||Nick Olive||Kathy O’Hara|
|15||SEABROOK (NZ)||Mick Price||Damien Oliver|
|16||SECRET LADY||Gary Portelli||Ben Melham|
|17e||QAFLIA||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams|
|18e||GONGS||James Cummings||Tye Angland|
|19e||LEGEND OF CONDOR||Gerald Ryan||TBA|
|20e||SPIN||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA|