Golden Slipper favourites fare well at barrier draw
Golden Slipper favourites fare well at barrier draw

Gai Waterhouse is aiming to win her eighth Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and her second with co-trainer Adrian Bott, and their team of six have largely drawn low with headline act Storm Boy drawn barrier two for the $5 million race.

The stable are enjoying a record two-year-old season and from their sextet, they will occupy barriers one, two, three and five with speed influences Fully Lit, Storm Boy, Shangri La Express and Lady Of Camelot taking their respective low draws while Straight Charge and Prost drew barriers nine and 11 respectively.

Breeding giant Coolmore, who bought the managing share in Storm Boy after his win in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic, also saddle up second favourite Switzerland with James Mcdonald to ride the unbeaten son of Sniztel from barrier seven, while Ryan Moore will land in Sydney on Wednesday ahead of his ride on Storm Boy.

Tom Magnier, principal of Coolmore Australia, says he finds it hard to split Storm Boy and Switzerland but believes they have a very good chance of giving Coolmore back-to-back wins in the race after Shinzo was successful last year.

“Probably would’ve liked to have been a little bit wider with Storm Boy but when you’ve got Gai Waterhouse and Ryan (Moore) in that camp, it’s up to them,” Magnier said.

“He (Switzerland) is a horse that Chris (Waller) just has improving time and time again, so I think that come Slipper day, he should just be right there… it’s a very tough field, it’s one of the most exciting races we’ve seen in a long time, we’ve two exciting colts, we wouldn’t change them.”

Online bookmakers were taking no chances with short-priced favourite Storm Boy, winding him in from $2.30 to $2.10 while Switzerland drfited slightly from $4 to $4.50. The next shortest runners are both in the Waterhouse & Bott stable with Straight Charge and Lady Of Camelot at $11, and Adrian Bott was thrilled with how their team drew, including Storm Boy.

“I think it’s a better draw than drawing out too wide for him, we’ve seen him draw low plenty of times in his career to date and he’s been very effective. I know he hasn’t quite been the quickest into stride on a couple of occasions, but he musters quickly and once he’s up and going, he’s got that great sustained speed,” Bott said.

The stable also have the sole emergency for the Slipper with Breeder’s Plate winner Espionage drawn barrier 12 on the fourth line of betting at $15 and will be hoping for a scratching which would see them tie John Hawkes’ record of seven runners in a Golden Slipper.

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