The 2015 Golden Slipper barrier draw has been conducted and clear favourite Vancouver has been allocated gate 18 for the Group 1 event that will be held at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Vancouver has started his racing career with impressive victories in the Listed New South Wales Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate (1000m), Group 3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) and Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m), but will face the toughest test of his racing career to date in the Golden Slipper.
The Medaglia D’Oro colt will jump from barrier 15 after the emergencies are removed and no horse has won from the gate since Star Watch in 1988 – who was trained by Gai Waterhouse’s father T.J. Smith.
Waterhouse-trained English fared far better at the Golden Slipper barrier draw than her stable and will jump from barrier six, while Magic Night Stakes winner Speak Fondly could be caught in an early speed battle from barrier 12.
The connections of Odyssey Moon, Fireworks and Single Gaze all paid the late entry fee of $150,000 to get their horses into the field, but all three did not fare well at the barrier draw this morning.
Odyssey Moon (13) and Fireworks (14) will both likely be forced to settle towards the tail of the field in the early stages of the race, while Single Gaze’s run of drawing bad barriers has continued and she will jump from barrier 15.
The big winners of the 2015 Golden Slipper barrier draw were the Godolphin operation and three of their four runners will jump from the inside of the field for the world’s richest two-year-old race.
Haptic is one of only a few horses that will defend an undefeated record in the Golden Slipper and he looks set to get a dream run from barrier three, while early Golden Slipper favourite Furnaces (barrier one) and promising filly Ottoman (barrier eight) had their winning chances enhanced by the barrier draw.
Exosphere is rated the best of the four Godolphin runners in the 2015 Golden Slipper field and the impressive Skyline Stakes winner will have the services of Golden Slipper winning jockey James McDonald when he jumps from barrier 10.
Cinderella Stakes winner Haybah has the most racing experience in the Golden Slipper field and will jump from barrier three, while Blue Diamond Stakes placegetter Lake Geneva (barrier five) was another winner of the barrier draw.
Despite the poor barrier draw, Vancouver is currently available at 2015 Golden Slipper odds of $2.80 and remains a clear favourite from Exosphere ($4.60), Ready For Victory ($10), Headwater ($11) and English ($13).