The Godolpin operation has plenty of winning chances on 2015 Golden Slipper Day, but Racing Manager Jason Walsh believes that undefeated colt Haptic is a genuine contender that he snuck under the radar heading into the world’s richest two-year-old event at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Haptic made his racing debut with a professional performance in the Place Multi Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on January 24 and he led from start to upset the highly-rated Furnaces in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Royal Randwick on February 14.
Walsh admits that Godolphin may have underrated Haptic this preparation, but he told Racing Ahead that the Exceed And Excel colt is likely to take up the running in the early stages of the Golden Slipper and could give his rivals something to catch in the last 200 metres.
“He is a very unassuming type and for that reason you tend not to rate them too highly, but he could not have done any more than he has and obviously he has qualified himself for the Slipper,” Walsh said.
“That gate will give him his chance too.
“He has a pretty established pattern of being right on speed and James Doyle is a wonderful engagement for that sort of horse.
“He can get him rolling and kick on for home.
“He has gone under the radar a little bit, but he certainly can’t have done any more than he has done to date and we are expecting him to be more than competitive.”
Haptic has not had a race start since his impressive victory in the Lonhro Plate, but he was given a barrier trial by trainer John O’Shea at Rosehill Gardens on March 3 and worked forward to take up the running in the early stages before he showed impressive acceleration to pull away from his rivals in the last 150 metres.
Walsh said that the stable was happy with the barrier trial performance of Haptic and he is confident that the five week break between runs will not prove an issue for the talented juvenile.
“We were very pleased with that,” Walsh said.
“He is the type of horse that John think’s benefits from being kept fresh, so he has had five weeks between runs and a nice trial to blow the cobwebs out.
“He is a very happy horse and we are very pleased to be presenting him in the Golden Slipper tomorrow.”
Haptic is currently available at 2015 Golden Slipper odds of $16 with Ladbrokes, while Vancouver ($3.10) remains a clear favourite from Exosphere ($4) and Headwater ($12).