Randwick trainer John O’Shea has put Hong Kong based jockey Brett Brebble on standby to ride his two year old Shelford in the Golden Slipper on Saturday if he gains a start.
O’Shea had originally chased the services of Douglas Whyte but has switched to Prebble who will know tomorrow morning if he will have to travel to Australia.
Saturday’s $3.5m Golden Slipper is starting to take shape with the final field to be announce by the Australian Turf Club tomorrow morning.
The Team Hawkes trained All Too Hard will have a huge bearing on the make up of the field if he is given the green light to run while connections of Ichihara are still weighing up their options if they are going to pay the $150,000 late entry fee after winning the Group 2 $175,000 Mondial Pink Diamond Magic Night Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
If Shelford gains a start in the Group 1 $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill, O’Shea will have three runners in the glamour two year old race with Faustus and Ashokan already securing a place in the field.
Ashokan put himself into Slipper calculations with a decisive win over Raceway in the Group 3 $125,000 Hyland Race Colours Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 17 while Faustus has one win from three starts and finished fifth behind Pierro in the Group 2 $300,000 Spotless Todman Stakes at Rosehill on March 24.
Shelford could sneak into the sixteen horse field after finishing third in the Todman Stakes but if he is an emergency Prebble won’t be required to make the trip while Jim Cassidy will ride Faustus and top Kiwi jockey James McDonald is to ride Ashokan.
“If he is an emergency then we will look at someone locally but if he gets in Brett Prebble will ride,” O’Shea said.
Gai Waterhouse is likely to have four runners with Pierro looking her top pick ahead of the Magic Millions quinella of Driefontein and No Looking Back with Raceway also making the field.
Pierro is unbeaten to date with three wins from three starts, his latest a narrow victory over the Peter Snowden trained Epaulette in the Todman Stakes.
Trainer Gerald Ryan will also play a big part in Slipper proceedings with the likelihood of three runners, Amorino, Cavarly Rose and Snitzerland.
Snitzerland looks the pick of his team after a fair fourth to Samaready in the Group 2 $300,000 Jacobs Creek Reisling Slipper Trial (1200m) at Rosehill on March 24 while Cavalry Rose has to back up after a hard run when second to Ichihara in the Magic Night last Saturday.
Glyn Schofield will be back to ride at Rosehill on the weekend after competing at the Dubai World Cup meeting last Saturday night and has been booked for the Chris Waller trained Jade Marauder.