The Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday has brought together another intriguing capacity field of sixteen two year olds but one main omission from the race is a juvenile trained by Gai Waterhouse.
2017 will be the first time in almost twenty years that Waterhouse won’t be saddling up a Golden Slipper runner thus giving her no chance to add to her six Golden Slippers she has won in the past.
Waterhouse’s has won the Golden Slipper with Ha Ha (2001), Dancer Hero (2004), Sebring (2008), Pierro, (2012), Overreach (2013) and Vancouver (2015).
But Waterhouse, who now trains in partnership with Adrian Bott, is still very enthusiastic about the world’s richest two year old race and is tipping fellow Randwick trainer Michael Freedman to win the race with his smart filly Frolic.
Waterhouse is always a believer that the Golden Slipper winner has to race on the pace but with the prospect of a heavy track, the First Lady Of The Turf has gone against her initial thoughts and is tipping backmarker Frolic.
“I’d want to see them in a forward position,” Waterhouse told G1X.com.au.
“I’ve won six Slippers and it’s better if you’re in a forward position because there’s less chance of soil coming back in your eye or a horse bumping into you.”
But she is keen on Frolic who handled a heavy track well last start when Tommy Berry brought her from last down the outside fence to win the Group 2 $300,000 Affinity Shopping Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 4 and secure a spot in the Golden Slipper field.
“I quite like the filly trained by Michael Freedman, I think she’s a very talented filly and I liked the way she won the other day down the outside,” Waterhouse said.
Waterhouse is banking on Berry finding the right part of the track again which he did when he won on Overreach for her on a rain affected track in 2013.
“I’ve had Tommy Berry win a Slipper for me by doing exactly what he did the other day; having the brains to read the track before the race, and then winning the race with Overreach,” Waterhouse said.
“He said to me, ‘You’ve got to be right on the fence… I know there’s a good strip there, I know I can win the race.’
“And I said, ‘Just go for it.’
“I saw exactly that with the filly the other day and I thought ‘Golly, Berry Brilliant again… BB!”
The Rosehill track was rated a heavy 9 on Wednesday morning after receiving 39.5mm of rain over the last seven days with more rain forecast for the rest of the week but the prospect of facing another rain affected track won’t worry Frolic who seemed to get through it okay in her two and a quarter lengths win in the Reisling Stakes.
Waterhouse also fancies the Queensland filly Houtzen who fits into her original thoughts of an on pace runner and the Toby Edmonds trained youngster showed all her brilliance with an all the way win in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.
Frolic has drawn wide in the capacity field after coming up with barrier seventeen in the original draw of sixteen plus three emergencies, but will more than likely jump from gate fifteen with two of the reserves drawn inside of her.
Frolic is marked at $14 for the Golden Slipper at Ladbrokes.com.au while the Toby Edmonds trained Houtzen sits at the top of the market order at $4.40 just ahead of Gary Portelli’s filly She Will Reign at $5.