Talented filly Oakleigh Girl will have the chance to make Golden Slipper history at Rosehill Gardens this weekend by becoming the first juvenile to win the race first-up.
Oakleigh Girl has not been seen at the races since she finished second behind Unencumbered in the 2014 Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 11, but has performed strongly in two barrier trials; winning a trial over 800 metres at Warwick Farm on March 11 and defeating subsequent Pago Pago Stakes winner Time For War by five lengths over 1030 metres at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
Bougoure admits that he would have liked to give Oakleigh Girl a run in the lead-up to the 2014 Golden Slipper, but told Racing Ahead that he has been happy with her two barrier trial performances and is heading into the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday relatively confident.
“It was more that I had to rather than by design,” Bougoure said.
“Ideally I would have liked to give her a run, but it just hasn’t panned out that way after the Magic Millions.
“She had had a pretty long and hard campaign and to get her there we thought the best option was to give her the two trials and go into the Slipper first-up.
“If you go on trial form she is right up to the mark at the moment.
“Nash did her last piece of decent work on her this morning at Randwick on the Kensington track and she pulled up in fine order.
“I couldn’t be happier with her and I am going into it reasonably confident.”
The Rosehill Gardens track was rated a slow seven last weekend and there is a chance that the Golden Slipper could be run on a rain affected surface; with showers forecast in Sydney towards the end of the week.
Bougoure does not believe Oakleigh Girl would have any problems handling a wet track, but is worried that the daughter of Snitzel may not have the race fitness to slog through a heavy track in a high pressure race like the Golden Slipper.
“The only line I can take through the wet track form is the trial track out at Rosehill the other day, which Craig said was slow,” Bougoure said.
“She seemed to handle that without too much trouble, but raceday pressure is an issue again.
“I wouldn’t have an issue there, but if it went to the worse side of slow obviously hard racing is going to come into it and a fitness edge.”
Oakleigh Girl is a chance of pressing on to the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) or Group 1 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m) during The Championships.