Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Sunlight remains the favourite for the 2018 Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 24 after second acceptances were taken this week.
The Tony McEvoy trained Sunlight rocketed to the top of the Golden Slipper market order following her sensational win in the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 13 and is currently the $6.50 favourite.
Sunlight is one of 358 two year olds among the second acceptances that also includes the Chris Waller trained Performer ($8) and Randwick two year old winner Estijaab ($11) from Team Hawkes stable.
Performer has led Waller’s two year charge with a debut win in the Listed $150,000 Arrowfield Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick in September and is ready to go back to the race track following two recent 900m barrier trial wins at Rosehill.
Estijaab was an impressive debut winner in a 1000m two year old plate at Randwick on January 20 and co-trainer Michael Hawkes immediately selected the Golden Slipper as the Snitzel filly’s main immediate goal.
“There is no set plan and we will take it one step at a time heading to the Slipper,” Michael Hawkes said.
The Hawkes Racing Team of John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes have accepted with twenty-six year olds with the Lindsay Park Team the only other stable with more at twenty-seven.
High profile Caulfield trainer Mick Price and Team Snowden both have twenty youngsters still in contention while the powerful Godolphin stable under the eye of trainer James Cummings have accepted with eighteen juveniles.
Australian Turf Club Joint Acting Chief Executive James Heddo said the ATC was thrilled with the record interest in this year’s Golden Slipper.
“The Longines Golden Slipper is a race watched around the world and continues to be the race that shapes the Australian racing and breeding industry like no other,’’ Mr Heddo said.
“Last year we saw an incredible story with She Will Reign, a $20,000 purchase that gave her huge syndicate of owners a lifetime of memories.
“With just nine weeks remaining until the Longines Golden Slipper, the owners and trainers of 358 horses continue to live that same dream.
“The Longines Golden Slipper is Western Sydney’s signature race and we look forward to hosting one of the biggest and best Slipper days in recent times on Saturday 24 March.’’
A full list of Golden Slipper second acceptors can be found on the Australian Turf Club website.
Early market order for the 2018 Golden Slipper Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6.50 Sunlight, $8 Performer, $11 Estijaab, $21 Neutrality, Setsuna, $26 Dynamited, Ef Troop, Gongs, Irish Bet, Legend Of Condor, Royal Witness, $34 Exceltic, Fiesta, Omar, Pembroke Castle, Plague Stone, Qafila, Santos, Satin Slipper, Spin, $41 or better the rest.