Roughie Veranillo will wear the blinkers for the first time when he lines up Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Veranillo is marked as a $41 outsider for the Golden Slipper at Ladbrokes.com.au but trainer John O’Shea is looking for plenty of improvement with the blinkers on after the colt finished third behind Dunnison and Invader in the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 4.
O’Shea said that Veranillo has worn the blinkers in track work and has adapted to the new race day gear well.
“Blinkers go on for the first time and they seemed to have the right effect on him in his work at Osborne Park,” O’Shea said.
“He’s drawn a nice gate for his style of racing. There’s a lot of speed inside and there’s a lot of speed outside.
“I think he’s going to be in a nice cruising position about five lengths off the speed and hopefully he can get to the right part of the track.”
“Veranillo, his whole purpose this preparation was to run well in the Golden Slipper, and I am really happy with the improvement that he has made coming from the Todman into the Slipper and the addition of the blinkers.”
“He is affective in the ground. You are going to need a very fit tough seasoned horse which he fits into.”
“We are optimistic he will give a good account of himself.”
Veranillo kicked off his Golden Slipper campaign with a first up win in the Listed $125,000 Hinchinbrook Plate (1100m) at Randwick on February 4 followed by second to She Will Reign in the Group 2 $250,000 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on February 18 prior to his last start third in the Todman Stakes.
Brenton Avdulla will again be on board Veranillo who has drawn barrier eleven in the original draw.
O’Shea will also saddle up Trekking, a $34 chance in the Golden Slipper, and will be ridden by English jockey William Buick.
Queensland filly Houtzen sits at the top of the Golden Slipper market order at $4.40 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy at $5.50 and She Will Reign at $6.