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Slipper week was tough - let's hope it gets better

Mar 29, 2019

While Golden Slipper day hardly played out the way we would have hoped there was nothing we could do about it and you just have to cop it on the chin and move on.

Obviously the Slipper result was disappointing with Cosmic Force failing as favourite but he simply didn’t handle the conditions, which some might think a funny thing to say considering his previous weeks performance, but it was a totally different racing surface.

The week before he handled the heavy (10) but last week it was a heavy (8), and with that it was more ‘gluey’ than a real heavy and the horse just didn’t handle it.

He’s off to the paddock now, as is Catch Me whose run was quite good off a bad draw while Anaheed was the most prominent of our three Slipper runners and the intention is for her to keep going to the Percy Sykes Stakes, provided everything goes right between now and then.

Despite finishing sixth Anaheed was still in the same boat as Cosmic Force in that she handles a heavy track but wasn’t totally comfortable in the ‘gluey’ ground.

One thing I will say to those following the Slipper horses, if they continue on into the autumn is; be a bit wary as that track last week would have taken plenty out of them.

Redzel turned in the worst run of his life in The Galaxy but you can forget about that as he got a severe check, and it was at the totally wrong stage of the race.

He was in the perfect spot but when he coped that check he went back about three lengths at a vital stage. It was a bit like the cyclists when they slingshot around their rivals, he was going backwards at the time when he should have been going forward.

If we are to beat the likes of Trapeze Artist in the TJ (Smith Stakes) then he needed to have done better, but you’ve got to cut him some slack and remember he’s not a chaser, he’s invariably the one getting chased.

Forget the run, he’ll be a different horse when he gets to the TJ Smith.

Last Friday night we had a nice winner at Moonee Valley in Cheer Leader and she’s now in Sydney with the view to hopefully get a run in the Percy Sykes.

It’s the first time she’s been in the Sydney stable. With her it has been a softer approach not having to deal with the hustle and bustle of the autumn up here while getting some confidence down south.

Despite winning she was never at her top at The Valley and, different to her previous run down the Flemington straight she had the rail to guide her last week and certainly looks a nice filly going forward.

This weekend we have a decent sized team heading to Rosehill and hopefully they can race well with a few going on to bigger things in the coming weeks.

In the opener, the two-year-old 1400m we have Rome, Autocratic and Strasbourg.

Rome is a nice horse and is ticking over well, he’s still a maiden but he’s got plenty of talent and he’ll be racing to determine the next move with him. He’s only had the one run in so he could we'll keep going through to Brisbane.

Autocratic was enormous first-up on the heavy track behind Cosmic Force in the Pago Pago. He paraded poorly but still ran well and has come on from the run.

He gets the ear muffs pre-race and if all goes right Saturday he may well back up in the Sires’ Produce next week.

Strasbourg is in the same situation as Autocratic in that, if he runs well, he could well back up in the Sires’.

The blinkers backfired at Randwick when he wanted to get it over with and he raced upside down.

He showed us enough in his first preparation to suggest he has the talent and on Saturday he gets the blinkers off, so we are expecting him to run well.

Emperor’s Way has been in good form and he appears to be one of the top chances in the second race.

He went down to Albury for the Cup the other day but when they were called off he spent a few hours there before heading back home. Even though he hasn’t won on a wet track he gets through it provided it’s not a bog and it certainly doesn’t appear to be an overly deep race.

Carif has been a bit of a pain in the rear for us but he does have some ability, although he needs to step up four-or-five levels to be competitive in the Tulloch Stakes but all the same it wouldn’t shock if he did something.

At Randwick first-up we thought he’d go close but he was disappointing however he put that behind him and won well at Newcastle when stepping up to a suitable distance and he ran right through the line.

Where he goes from here will be determined by Saturday but if he did surprise and win then you’d have to consider running him in the Derby but he could well end up in Brisbane, it will be interesting to see how he performs.

Brave Song resumes for the stable in the Star Kingdom and he’s turned in some slashing trials for his return.

He races well fresh, has a brilliant turn of foot for 300m and he’s in for a good preparation although a majorly rain-affected track wouldn’t be ideal.

We’ve also got Maximus, he’s a dual acceptor but likely to run against Brave Song but he’s a benchmark horse and would need everything to go right to beat a pretty good field.

Snippets Land in the second last is the last horse we inherited from John O’Shea that is still racing.

He won his maiden for us at the end of 2014 and has continued to win a race nearly ever preparation since.

While he’s not getting any younger, his form this preparation has been first-class although he does seem to get found out when up against the A-graders.

He has had the same preparation three of the last four years running in the National Sprint then the Doncaster Prelude and while he’s won the Canberra race twice he just doesn’t seem to quite get there in the Prelude.

Most likely this will be his last preparation as we’ve always wanted to retire him on a good note, he deserves that being such a stable favourite.

Our final runner for the day will be Napoleon Solo in the last and he’s being set for a Brisbane winter campaign with the ultimate objective being the Queensland Derby.

He went a long way in a short time last preparation winning his maiden at Randwick then a benchmark 78 and he’s trialled nicely enough for this but still he’s a three-year-old taking on older horses and is going to be better when he gets further into his preparation and over a bit more ground.

But that’s not to say he couldn’t sprint well fresh, he’s a nice horse. 

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