Godolphin presents a Golden Slipper team like no other
A G1 Golden Slipper challenge that is as complete as any to be mounted in a major Australian race will be launched at Rosehill on Saturday by a seven-horse contingent that reflects the stellar season the Godolphin two-year-olds are enjoying.
From a colt many rate as the best of his year to a selection of fillies who inspire awe, the Godolphin team is as complete as any to have tackled a Golden Slipper.
Colt Microphone along with the fillies Tenley, Kiamichi, Pin Sec, and Exhilarates are all trained by James Cummings, with Lyre prepared in Victoria by Anthony Freedman and emergency acceptor Bivouac (Cummings) waiting in the wings.
Cummings-trained horses have won 20 two-year-old races since the juveniles began their season in November, and his Golden Slipper team is responsible for 13 of them.
On top of that, Lyre has won a further three races, including the $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes, which makes her the only G1 winner in the race.
Cummings is reluctant to separate his six chances.
At the top of the list in field order, and the wearer of the royal blue cap, is Microphone (Hugh Bowman) whose three wins have been outstanding.
“Microphone has the strength about him that has allowed him to absorb what he’s been asked to do and still be at his best for the Golden Slipper,” Cummings said.
“He’s thrived since his G2 Skyline Stakes victory and I feel that he’s going to be suited by the three-week break into another high-pressure race.”
On paper, Tenley (James McDonald, red cap) has claims as the best Cummings’ filly in the race.
“The exciting thing about Tenley is not only that she is undefeated in three starts, but that her best win was her most recent,” Cummings said.
“She steps up to 1,200m for the first time and she looks as though she’ll excel at the extra trip against more testing opposition.
“There’s plenty of depth about her that will allow her to enjoy a fast-run in the Golden Slipper.”
Kiamichi (Damian Lane, yellow cap) got the ball rolling back in November with a win at Rosehill and she bounced back into Slipper calculations with a dominant wet-track victory at the same course last Saturday.
“Her debut victory back in November hinted at the strength she possesses and she’s a filly who is capable of bringing that quality into the Slipper on what seems likely to be another wet track,” Cummings said.
Pin Sec (Tommy Berry, black cap) may be open to the greatest improvement in the race.
“She obliterated her opponents in the Black Opal at Canberra a fortnight ago and arrives here fitter second up.”
Exhilarates (Kerrin McEvoy, green cap) is the biggest money winner in the field and is out to repeat her 2YO Magic Millions Classic win.
“She beat all but her flying stablemate in her fresh-up return run in the Reisling and I expect to see improvement coming out of that run which I feel has put her physically in a very good place for what is a monumental assignment,” her trainer said.
Lyre (Luke Currie, white cap) comes to the Slipper after initially being considered for longer juvenile races this autumn, but a brilliant trial in Sydney last week has her in the picture again.
"She works in the Sydney direction at the farm pretty much every morning, so we weren't too worried about that,” said Sam Freedman, assistant trainer to his father Anthony.
"We were hopeful that she would probably appreciate a little give in the track and Luke Currie was raving about her and said she seemed to love the ground in the trial.”
Bivouac (Brad Rawiller, pink cap), described by his trainer as being “on the cusp of greatness” will only run if there is a scratching among the 16 acceptors above him.
All the Golden Slipper horses, with the exception of Exhilarates, were bred by Godolphin. "Full credit to the whole team whether they are on the farm or in the various stables," said Managing director Vin Cox.