Goldophin’s John O’Shea has declared the likely line-up for this Saturday’s Silver Slipper Stakes in Sydney as “slick” and one that he hopes his runner Ottoman can account for first-up for the autumn.
Held at Rosehill Gardens, the $250,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) is the next traditional lead-up race for two-year-olds heading towards a run in the world’s richest juvenile’s race.
That race is of course the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) run back at Rosehill this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival a week earlier than last year, on March 21.
So good is the predicted Silver Slipper line-up this year that O’Shea told TVN on Sunday that the Golden Slipper winner was sure to come out of the race.
“It’s obviously going to be a very slick race,” he said.
“I’d say probably the Slipper winner will come out of it.”
The first two in early Golden Slipper betting at Ladbrokes are both predicted Silver Slipper starters this weekend with Godolphin’s promising filly Ottoman and Gai Waterhouse’s smart colt Vancouver sharing top spot in the markets at $7.
A son of Medaglia D’Oro, Vancouver is undefeated with two black type wins from as many career starts making him an imposing force in the Silver Slipper.
On debut last October he won the Listed NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick then returned off a spell on January 31 to win the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) without a hitch.
His trainer Waterhouse is also a five-time Golden Slipper winner making her record in the classic even more reason to take note of Vancover in the 2015 edition.
Ottoman meanwhile is also undefeated but as yet is untested in black type company.
The Exceed And Excel filly won her first trial on December 9 at Warwick Farm before her successful Rosehill debut under a fortnight later in the $85,000 Tab Place Multi Plate (1100m).
In that the highly regarded winner scored a narrow but impressive victory over the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Miss Idyllic despite being hindered in the early stages of the race.
Her finish was what was most impressive as she came from second last in the 13-starter field, and was still traveling a distant 10th with 600m left to travel.
After switching to the centre of the track over the final few hundred metres however Ottoman’s brilliant late burst saw her win by a head for jockey James McDonald who was also impressed with the winning filly’s efforts.
McDonald rode her again for another Warwick Farm trial then on February 9 where she ran third to Hinchin’ A Ride who won over the 803m in a sluggish 47.90 seconds.
Ottoman pulled early and was right on pace sharing the lead before easing at the top of the straight and then making up good late ground in another classy effort O’Shea hopes she’ll show again first-up on the weekend.
The stable are also set to start Commands colt Holler who is in “good order” after a win on debut at Royal Randwick on January 17 where he beat home Encosta Line and third placed Fireworks who went on to win the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) at the end of last month.
“They’ll gallop Tuesday and go to the races,” O’Shea said of his Silver Slipper Stakes-bound pair.
“I couldn’t be happier with them. We’ll turn up and see how we go.”