The 2015 Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper has plenty of quality remaining in contention after the second acceptances were released on Tuesday.
One hundred and seventy youngsters remain in the richest race in the world for two year olds run over 1200m at Rosehill on March 21.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer, Darren Pearce, said that the Golden Slipper would again be the centre piece of racing on a day that boasts five Group 1 races.
“With five Group One races on Tooheys New Golden Slipper Day, there is no bigger day of ‘majors’, and punters and racing fans are set for something extra special,” Pearce said.
“There have been some outstanding performances from two-year-olds already this year, particularly in Sydney from Furnaces, Ottoman and Vancouver, and the race is shaping as one of the very best in recent memory.”
All of the top fancies in the early market order for the Golden Slipper at Ladbrokes.com.au are listed in the second acceptances with the Gai Waterhouse trained Vancouver heading the betting at $7 ahead of the John O’Shea trained pair of Ottoman at $8 and Furnaces at $10 with Headwater for Team Hawkes and the flying Melbourne filly Fontiton both on $11.
Vancouver is one of seventeen two year olds that Waterhouse has remaining while the Godolphin stable, whose team is prepared by O’Shea, have the same number remaining on the books.
John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes also have big numbers remaining, hoping to repeat last year’s winning effort with Mossfun, with fourteen while David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have paid up for twelve and Paul Perry and Gerald Ryan both have eight remaining in contention.
The Waterhouse trained Vancouver cemented his spot as Golden Slipper favourite with an impressive win at Rosehill last Saturday in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) making it two from two after he won the Listed $100,000 NSW Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick on debut back in October.
As usual Waterhouse was talking up the prospects of the Medaglia D’Oro colt and expects further improvement as the Golden Slipper gets closer.
“He’s very special. He pulled up terrific, he was very courageous,” Waterhouse told Racing Network.
“The spring form is the best form reference for the two-year-olds. He won the Breeders Plate — all my good Golden Slipper horses have either won the Breeders Plate or been placed in it.
“Even though he wasn’t fully wound up he had the race experience that the others didn’t have yesterday.
“It counted and that’s what won him the race. He knew where the winning post was.”
Vancouver also heads the Golden Slipper order of entry with $150,800 in prizemoney while second favourite Ottoman is equal fourteenth with $48,750 for his only race appearance when he scored over 1100m at Rosehill on December 20.
Ottoman’s stablemate Domesday filly Antelucan is well up the order of entry at number three after earning $91,500 for her win in the Group 3 $150,000 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Robert Smerdon trained Thurlow has earned $99,500 from a third to Antelucan in the Emirates Airline Plate and a win in the Listed $120,000 Santa’s Magical Kingdom Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on November 15 and is second on the order of entry list.
The Sebring filly is set to enhance her Golden Slipper chances when she resumes in the Group 3 $150,000 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on Saturday.
The final field for the Golden Slipper will be released on Tuesday March 17 with the barrier draw to be conducted at Rosehill Gardens later in the day.