Gold Coast-based hoop Chris Whiteley has been booked to ride experienced juvenile Mishani Honcho in the 2015 Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Mishani Honcho made his racing debut in the Toxfree Maiden Plate (900m) at the Gold Coast on October 25 with Whiteley in the saddle and he stamped himself as a gelding to watch with a dominant six lengths victory before he finished second behind the talented Wicked Intent in the Breakfast Creek Hotel Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on November 29.
Whiteley was replaced on Mishani Honcho by claiming apprentice James Orman when he returned to winning form in the Iveco Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on December 6, but Whiteley got the ride back after the two-year-old produced the worst performance of his racing career to date in the Brisbane Marriott Hotel Handicap (1110m) at the same venue on December 20.
Mishani Honcho returned to winning form with Whiteley in the saddle in the Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on December 27 and the promising hoop maintained his excellent record on the son of Jet Spur in the Racing Minister’s Classic (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast on January 17.
Trainer Les Ross was expected to send Mishani Honcho to the spelling paddock after he finished third behind One Standout in the Coca-Cola Amatil Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on February 7, but he confirmed last week that Mishani Honcho would continue on a path to the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
Whiteley has been booked to ride Mishani Honcho in both the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) this weekend and the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 and remains a chance of having just his second ride at Group 1 level in the Golden Slipper.
The experienced hoop made his Group 1 debut in Australia back in 2005 when he partnered outsider Top Marc in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), which was won by Joseph Pride-trained Red Oog from Our Egyptian Raine and Takeover Target, but he has since been unable to pick-up a ride at the highest level of racing.
Mishani Honcho is set to face a number of talented gallopers in the Silver Slipper Stakes, but the final field will not include Golden Slipper favourite Vancouver, who was ruled out of the Group 2 event by trainer Gai Waterhouse this morning.