Flashy colt Santos staked his claims for the 2018 Golden Slipper with an impressive win in the $150,000 The Luxury Network Pierro Plate (1100m) at Randwick today.
Santos ($6.50) was having his first run back since running fourth to Legend Of Condor in the $100,000 Victory Vein Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 14 last year and the I Am Invincible colt was able to turn the tables on Legend Of Condor ($2.80 favourite) who set the pace but faded in the straight to finish in fourth position.
The Gary Portelli trained Exceltic ($7.50) and the topweight Irish Bet ($7.50) filled the minor placings.
Winning jockey Tim Clark had Santos travelling strongly outside of the leader coming to the home turn and the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained colt took control at the 250m to surge away to record a very impressive win.
Santos will now be included as one of the main chances for the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 24.
Santos was well forward in condition heading into the Pierro Plate with two solid Randwick barrier trial wins under his belt but will have one more run before lining up in the Golden Slipper.
“This has been our Golden Slipper horse since day one,” Waterhouse said after a short rendition of ‘Hey Those Golden Slippers’.
“He was very immature in the Spring. He was still coming together. He has furnished into a really beautiful colt.”
“This horse is such an exciting horse, he is lyrical, absolutely lyrical.”
“This was a very very crucial race for us today. All these fields are Golden Slipper horses.”
Santos is now rated a $13 chance for the Golden Slipper at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Sunlight as the $6 favourite.