Price is right for Mick’s second Golden Slipper fav. Heading into the richest two year old race in the world with a heavily supported favourite, is something Caulfield Trainer and his regular jockey Craig Newitt, have experienced before. In 2012 Price’s filly Samaready started the $2.80 favourite and Newitt rode her into third place behind champion colt Pierro. This year, both Price and Newitt will be hoping Extreme Choice, can not only deliver them their first Golden Slipper victory, but also go on to emulate Pierro’s feats – and there’s non reason he won’t. Extreme Choice is undefeated in three starts to date and appears to be a naturally gifted and professional galloper – the perfect Slipper combination.
1. EXTREME CHOICE – C Newitt (7)
Made it three wins from as many starts and rocketed to favouritism for this race, after recording a slashing win in the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield three weeks ago. He sat wide but travelled up to the leaders strongly on the turn, before showing good acceleration and beating home stable-mate Flying Artie by 1.8 lengths, in a time of 1.08:95. Other horses to break 1.09:00 in winning the Blue Diamond – Hurricane Sky, Redoute’s Choice, Sepoy – not bad company to be amongst is it?
2. FLYING ARTIE – D Oliver (5)
Has produced two massive runs in winning the Blue Diamond Prelude, and then running second to Extreme Choice in the Blue Diamond Stakes, when jumping from wide gates on both occasions. These gates have dictated that he settle back in both runs however, from gate five, we may be able to see him settle closer and not so far off the pace as the above runs. Form-line to favourite is fantastic, draws well, Oliver up – plenty to like about his chances and appears a legitimate threat.
3. DEFCON – B Prebble (14)
Found the Godolphin pair of Tessera and Astern a fraction too strong in each of his first two starts – the Canonbury and Silver Slipper Stakes. Taken to Canberra for the Black Opal Stakes and settled near last before pulling out wide and rattling home to record an impressive win – although it was close to 2 seconds slower than Extreme Choice had won the Blue Diamond in. Improving with each run but will get a long way back here as well from 14 and last horse to win the Black Opal/Golden Slipper double was Catbird in 1999.
4. KISS AND MAKE UP – K McEvoy (9)
Only a maiden win on debut, but plenty to like about the way this well bred son of More Than Ready went about recording his victory. Proved that was the case in the Todman Stakes and his following start, lowering the colours of top fancies Capitalist and Weatherly to win by 2.3 lengths. Trainer Gai Waterhouse has won six Slippers in the past and knows how to get them ready for this race, and there definitely seems to be a sense of timing around this bloke.
5. ASTERN – J McDonald (17)
Tipped out after winning in his debut in December in impressive fashion and returned with a strong all-the-way win in the Silver Slipper as the odds-on favourite. Gave those who took the shorts in the Silver Slipper a few moments of concern but got the job done and Defcon, who finished second, has gone on to win the Black Opal. Had a winning trial at Warwick Farm last week but the barrier draw has been very unkind.
6. STAR TURN – D Dunn (11)
Beat four competitor home when winning the Pierro Plate on a Soft track back in October last year – his only win from four outings thus far. More recently, he had every chance in the Blue Diamond Prelude when caught by Flying Artie right on the line, before getting caught three wide and facing the breeze, just off the pace in the Blue Diamond Stakes, and battling on gamely in the straight to run fifth (7.2 lengths). Best chance would be to go forward with him however, has a lot of ground to turn around on the Blue Diamond quinella.
7. CAPITALIST – B Shinn (2)
Has been the long-time favourite for this race after winning his first three races – including the Magic Millions in easy fashion however, running second as the $1.22 favourite in the Todman Stakes as seen him slip down the betting ladder – to $10.00
Todman was his first run in eight weeks, winner of that race – Kiss And Make Up – has the makings of a very nice horse and punters might’ve been a bit quick to abandon ship perhaps. Sepoy, 2011 Golden Slipper winner who was also trained by Snowden, was rolled as a short priced favourite the start before he claimed the 2yo feature.
8. GOOD STANDING – J Bowman (10)
Caught late on debut by Yankee Rose back in November, before a spell and returning with a professional win in the Skyline Stakes, defeating Lionhearted. Will be fitter again for that hit-out but had every chance last time out and for him to be winning here, needed to see him really put them to the sword last time out.
9. TELPERION – J Doyle (12)
Beat home four opponents when claiming his one win from three starts thus far, winning the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) in Feburary. Only start since saw him disappoint as the $2.60f in the Skyline Stakes (1200m) finishing fourth and 3.4 lengths from winner Good Standing. Not the ideal performance leading into the Slipper and has trialled since – winning well when ridden by James McDonald. Should find this tough.
10. FRENCH FERN – O Bosson (13)
Has caused punters same pain at his last two starts, first winning at Canterbury at $13 and then again – this time as a $31 chance, the Riesling Slipper Stakes. Can do no more than win the races he contests, but the son of Norther Meteor will find this much tougher then either of the above events and the gate will be of no assistance.
11. SCARLET RAIN – T Berry (16)
Flashing looking daughter of Manhattan Rain who is unbeaten in her three starts to date, the most recent of which was an all-the-way win in the G2 Sweet Embrace. Hasn’t been paced yet in her races – adaptable to all conditions by the look of it and would rate her some sneaking place chance had she drawn a gate – but she hasn’t, and gate sixteen will see her having to work at both ends of a very tough race which is less than ideal.
12. CALLIOPE – S Clipperton (15)
The third of the Godolphin runners and like his stable-mates, the barrier draw wasn’t kind. Only defeat from her three starts was when making her trip to Melbourne for the Blue Diamond Prelude where things went less than perfect and her fifth placing (2.3 lengths) behind Samara Dancer was acceptable. She returned to Sydney four weeks later and arrived on the line with a head to spare in taking out the G2 Magic Night Stakes. Another honest filly but the boys seem to well and truly have them covered this year and she’ll have to produce something outstanding from her draw.
13. YANKEE ROSE – Z Purton (3)
Hasn’t taken a unique route into the Slipper, not having raced for sixteen weeks but guess trainer David Vandyke had seen enough in each of two wins late last year, to be satisfied she could win the Slipper first-up. She’s had to trials in readiness for Saturday, Purton on his a positive and a bit of luck from the inside draw could see her in the right spot heading for home – but just couldn’t have her with any kind of confidence having not seen her race for such a period of time.
14. SWEET SHERRY – T Huet (8)
Won the Maribyrnong Trail when making her debut for trainer Brent Stanley last October, but his three subsequent runs have seen her well accounted for. Gets back in her runs but just not capable of running some of these down on what we’ve seen of her during her career to date.
15. HONEST PREVAILS – J Collett (6)
Well bred daughter of Redoute’s Choice who won very well on a soft track when making her debut in the Widden Stakes (1100m) late January – defeating Smart Amelia – well beaten in the Sweet Embrace won by Scarlet Rain. Stepped out favourite four weeks later – at her only run since, but this time only held her ground by surprise winner French Fern in the Reisling Stakes. Recorded a poor post race recovery last time out but doubt either of the above races she has contested, are strong enough races for her to be winning.
16. QUICK FEET – D Lane (1)
Has come up with the coveted inside gate for this year’s Golden Slipper but given in her three runs thus far – the only one of which she has won is the first, a Warwick Farm Maiden, she likes to settle back, she may find herself with plenty of work to do turning for home. And from what we’ve seen of her in recent efforts, can’t envisage her running them down.
17. MOQUEEN – C Williams (4)
Looking to break her maiden status by winning the world’s richest 2yo race. Training Anthony Cummings is never shy in having a crack at the good races with horse that may not appear ready for it – and occasionally – he’s had the last laugh however, hard to see him doing so here with this Uncle Mo filly.
RACE OVERVIEW –
As always, the Slipper will be run at a good speed and from barrier seven, Craig Newitt aboard Extreme Choice should be perfectly positioned to take advantage of it, and get a lovely run in behind. Preparation and record to date is faultless, has a win the Sydney way of going and has got better with each of his three runs. Kiss And Make Up is a good horse in the making – might be good enough already to win this and wouldn’t be surprised if he does. Reckon he’s next best outside of the fav and from jumping just outside of him, might tag him throuhgout.