Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh has been delighted with the 2015 Golden Slipper lead-up form of Exosphere, but he believes that the progressive colt still has plenty of improvement in front of her heading into the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Exosphere started his 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with an impressive performance in a maiden at Kembla Grange on February 14 and he stamped himself as a genuine Golden Slipper contender with a dominant four lengths victory in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February.
The Lonhro colt produced an impressive time during his Skyline Stakes victory, but Walsh told Racing Ahead that jockey James McDonald did not get to the bottom of the two-year-old and he is confident the juvenile can take another step when he contests the 2015 Golden Slipper on Saturday.
“He is a really progressive colt for us and he just has the best attitude,” Walsh said.
“In our experience that is what makes the best two-year-old and he will walk around the mounting yard tomorrow like a four-year-old hopefully and we expect him to do.
“He couldn’t have been more impressive in the Skyline and he is a really exciting horse for that reason because we aren’t sure where the bottom is.”
Exosphere has been settled towards the tail of the field in his two race starts this preparation, but Walsh is hopeful that McDonald can find a more forward position on the Skyline Stakes winner in the Golden Slipper.
Walsh is confident that Exosphere will be one of the horses hitting the line strongest in the final stages of the Golden Slipper, but he admits that McDonald can’t afford to give the likes of Vancouver too great a head start.
“We think that is an ideal draw for him, so he can be midfield or thereabouts,” McDonald said of barrier ten.
“James will make his mind up obviously when the gates open, but he can be midfield and not too far away hopefully because you can’t give those good two-year-olds a bit start coming into the straight.
“That should give him his chance to get a bit of cover, pull to the middle of the track and we expect him to be very strong late.”
Exosphere is currently available at 2015 Golden Slipper odds of $4 with Ladbrokes and is on the second line of betting behind the undefeated Vancouver ($3.10).