Paul Messara’s smart two year old Weatherly won’t run in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill after succumbing to shin soreness.
Messara held a very high opinion of Weatherly and was looking forward to saddling him up in the world’s richest two year old race before he had to abandon plans.
Weatherly was well supported at his first race start when sent out as the equal $4.40 favourite but lost all chance when he bungled the start before finishing sixth to Cohesion in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) at Caulfield on January 26.
The Beneteau colt was then due to run in the Group 3 $200,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 13, but was a race day withdrawal after suffering from a mild virus.
Messara then nursed Weatherly back to full health and took him to Flemington where he produced his best to record a one and half lengths win in the Listed $120,000 Talindert Stakes (1100m) on February 20 with Craig Williams in the saddle.
Williams then followed the Beneteau colt to Sydney to partner him in the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 5 to see if he was up to Golden Slipper standard.
But after being slow to leave the barriers again, Weatherly raced at the tail of the four horse field and could only pass one runner in the straight when third behind Kiss And Make Up and Capitalist in the Todman Stakes.
Last Saturday’s Rosehill two year old winners from the John O’Shea stable, Calliope and Souchez, gained automatic entry into the Golden Slipper.
After being scratched at the barriers the week before at Randwick before the running of the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m), Calliope redeemed herself with win in the Group 2 $175,000 Bede Murray Magic Night Stakes (1200m).
And O’Shea made it a juvenile double with Souchez winning the Group 2 $175,000 Cafe Culture + Insitu Pago Pago Stakes (1200m).
O’Shea is keen to back up Calliope this week in the Golden Slipper but might keep Souchez to run in the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) at Randwick on April 2, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
“She (Calliope) will be benefited from that and I think that she has earnt her place in the race,” O’Shea said after the Magic Night Stakes win.
“She has always been a talent.
“I think she just needs repetition and hopefully that has just blown out a few cobwebs and she will get her execution right going forward.”
Latest Golden Slipper market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.90 Extreme Choice, $6 Flying Artie, $7.50 Astern, $10 Kiss And Make Up, Capitalist, $15 Good Standing, $17 Calliope, Defcon, Scarlet Rain, Yankee Rose, $26 Honesty Prevails, $34 Telperion, $41 Tessera, $51 French Fern, $67 Star Turn, $81 Detective, $101 Sweet Sherry, $201 Quick Feet.