Dame poised to grab Slipper spotlight

Dame Giselle continues her inexorable march towards the Golden Slipper in the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

In a season where the ebb and flow of juvenile racing has everyone guessing, Dame Giselle has been the one constant.

She commanded attention with her runaway Golden Gift win during the spring and lost no admirers despite being beaten first-up when third behind Supreme Idea in the Lonhro Plate.

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Dame Giselle scored an impressive win in the Golden Gift last year. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Trainer Peter Snowden, who is chasing a third Golden Slipper after his wins with Sepoy (2011) and Capitalist (2016), maintains Dame Giselle remains right on target for the world’s richest two-year-old race at Rosehill on March 17.

“There is not a dominant two-year-old this season but there are some handy ones. It’s a very even group with at least 10 that are above average,’’ trainer Peter Snowden said. “Whichever two-year-old comes together the last two weeks into the Golden Slipper will be the one to beat.’’

Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son, Paul, said he remains upbeat that Dame Giselle can be the juvenile who peaks for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper.

“The beauty with Dame Giselle is that by winning the Golden Gift, she has already qualified for the Golden Slipper so there is no pressure on her,’’ Snowden said. “We can let each run do its job and be ready to go third-up in two weeks.

“I thought Dame Giselle was good the other day, she will be fitter again for the Reisling Stakes and be right at her top for the Golden Slipper.’’

The Snowden stable, which has had a bumper season with their juveniles winning 17 races already, has three entries for the Group 2 $300,000 Todman Stakes (1200m) – Blaze A Trail, Bartley and Barbaric.

“I’ve put Bartley and Barbaric in the Black Opal in Canberra on Sunday and we will work out which race suits them best,’’ Snowden said.

Blaze A Trail was a promising third on debut to Dame Giselle in the Golden Gift before resuming with his sixth to Farnan in the Silver Slipper.

Peter Snowden has Dame Giselle ticking along nicely. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

“I think punters should judge Blaze A Trial on this run rather than his last start,’’ Snowden said. “He got way too far back and was never going to be able to pick them up.

“It won’t be the case (Saturday), he will be up there.’’

Bartley is resuming off one barrier trial and Barbaric jumping in grade after an impressive win at the midweeks. “I like Bartley, he is a nice horse, he trialled very well last week and has improved,’’ Snowden said. “Barbaric will also run well.’’

Snowden said Aim and Stellar Pauline, both minor placegetters at Randwick last week, are set to make last ditch attempts to qualify for the Golden Slipper next week.

Aim, who was a luckless third to Mamaragan in the Skyline Stakes, will contest the Pago Pago Stakes, while Stellar Pauline, runner-up in all four races including the Sweet Embrace Stakes last week, is going to the Magic Night Stakes.

“If Aim had won last Saturday then he would have the best form going into the Slipper,’’ Snowden said.

“But he drew the wrong part of the track in the Magic Millions then had no luck last week. We are in no rush with Aim but if he won the Pago Pago we will think about the Slipper.

“Stellar Pauline will run in the Magic Night Stakes next week but I’m not sure about the Slipper, we might look at running her in the Percy Sykes Stakes.’’

Sky Racing news update 05.03.2020

Sky Racing news update 05.03.2020.


Cellsabeel gets one final opportunity to secure a Golden Slipper start in the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.

The Ciaron Maher-David Eustace-trained filly was long-time Slipper favourite until she struggled when fifth to Farnan in the Silver Slipper last start.

That left Cellsabeel in a precarious position at 22nd in the Golden Slipper order of entry with qualifying prizemoney of $108,125.

If Cellsabeel wins the ­Reisling, then she is exempt from any ballot for the elite field of 16 into the $3.5 million Golden Slipper at Rosehill on March 22.

Cellsabeel and Reisling rival See You Soon have both been entered for the Group 3 $250,000 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra on Sunday but it is expected they will run at Randwick.


Tommy Berry, a two-time Golden Slipper winner on Overreach (2013) and Vancouver (2015), hasn’t lost faith in Cellsabeel despite her indifferent last-start effort.

“I’m really looking forward to riding Cellsabeel because she has the ability to put herself right back into the Golden Slipper mix,’’ Berry said. “We haven’t seen a standout two-year-old yet.

“When we think there is one, it is disappointing next start.

“There is certainly no Sepoy (2011), Pierro (2012), Overreach (2013) or Vancouver (2015), who were dominant the whole way through. It’s like the Golden Slipper picture keeps getting more confusing every week. The race is wide open.’’

There will be a significant gear change for Cellsabeel when the glue-on shoes come off. The likelihood of a wet track also suits her. Cellsabeel and Golden Gift winner Dame Giselle are $3.30 equal favourites with TAB Fixed Odds for the Reisling Stakes.

Dame Giselle (fifth), See You Soon (seventh) and Mildred (eighth) are the only Reisling runners already qualified for the Golden Slipper.

In the Group 2 $300,000 Todman Stakes (1200m), Berry is booked to ride Team Hawkes’ unbeaten colt Ole Kirk, a close relation to unbeaten wonder mare Black Caviar and four-time Group 1 winner All Too Hard. Ole Kirk is also entered for the Group 2 $200,000 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Cellsabeel will be out to bounce back from her flop in the Silver Slipper. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

A win in either the Todman Stakes or the Sires’ is essential to get Ole Kirk into the Golden Slipper because the colt is only 30th in order of entry.

The only Todman runners certain of a Golden Slipper start are Silver Slipper winner Farnan (first) and Blue Diamond Stakes hero Tagaloa (fourth).

Global Quest is 13th on the order of entry and a top-two finish should ensure he gets into the Golden Slipper field in two weeks.

Trainer Chris Waller, who qualified Hungry Heart for the Golden Slipper after her win in the Sweet Embrace Stakes last week, has a big opinion of Breeders’ Plate winner Global Quest.

In two runs back this campaign, Global Quest has finished second both times in the Canonbury Stakes behind Prague before chasing home Farnan in the Silver Slipper.

“Global Quest has come through his two runs this preparation really well,’’ Waller said. “He’s a very good horse and needs a strong 1200m to (bring out) the best of him.

“We have put blinkers on him (tomorrow) and I think that will help.’’

Waller also saddles up Blondeau in the Todman Stakes.

The colt, who is 61st in Slipper order of entry, needs to win to qualify.

Sydney’s premier trainer, who is hopeful Centimental and Joviality can run well in the Reisling, said Hungry Heart had come through last week’s win in good order.

“Hungry Heart won’t run again before the Golden Slipper,’’ Waller said. “She has a very bright future.’’

Originally published asDame poised to grab Slipper spotlight

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