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Cylinder on G1 Golden path after striking Silver at G2 level

Dave Murray

Impressive Godolphin two-year-old Cylinder stamped his mark on the G1 Golden Slipper next month when he resumed from a spell on Saturday, 18 February with a powerful win in the G2 Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney.

The Exceed And Excel colt had finished two unlucky seconds last November - in the Max Lees Classic at Newcastle when he missed the start and came from last, and in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes at Caulfield where he banged his head in the starting stalls and injured his jaw.

Cylinder recovered well and trialled impressively at Rosehill last week before taking on one-time Golden Slipper favourite King’s Gambit in a small but select Silver Slipper (1,100m) line-up.

Parked second by jockey Brenton Avdulla behind Platinum Jubilee to the home turn, Cylinder peeled off the leader’s heels at the 350m and wore down the speedy filly to score by a half-length. 

King’s Gambit couldn’t catch the first pair and finished a half-neck away in third place as the winner bettered a fast 33.30 seconds for his final 600m sectional.

“We’re cooking with gas with this one, he is just loaded with ability,” Godolphin Australia's head trainer James Cummings said.

“First-up at his second preparation, that’s a damn good sign from this colt.”

Cummings said Cylinder was maturing quickly and had earned his place in the $5 million Golden Slipper over 1,200m at Rosehill next month.

“He has improved a stack,” the trainer said.

“Not everything went right for him in Victoria, thankfully we were able to get him back to Osborne Park on a pretty quick turnaround and nature took its course.

“I think he has got what it takes to keep improving and get to the level required to be competitive in the Slipper in four weeks’ time.”

Avdulla praised Cylinder’s preparation and professionalism, and also fellow jockey James McDonald for his welcome advice.

“I think he’s a good quality colt and he’s been excellently prepared,” Avdulla said.

“His trial was good, James gave him a good push through the week and again this morning.

“James said, ‘Ride him positive, ride him confident because he’s quite a good colt’ and I think they’re right.”

Cylinder is likely to have his final Slipper lead-up in the G2 Todman Stakes over 1,200m at Royal Randwick on 4 March and could be one of a handful of starters for Godolphin in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds. 

* Cummings finished the Rosehill card with three winners on the program after Parisal and Andermatt won non-Stakes races with apprentice jockey Zac Lloyd in the saddle.