The Rating Bureau: Golden Slipper

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Race Assessment

R7: Golden Slipper – 1200m 2YO Open SW G1 WFA $3,500,000


The Track

The track is currently a Soft 5 (Thursday) and there’s an 80% chance of showers (1-5mm) on Friday afternoon.  If the track can escape with just one small shower between now and race time, it should race in the Good 4 – Soft 5 range at worst.

With the rail in the 2m position and some moisture in the ground, the fence is likely to be some disadvantage. 4-5 horses off the fence will be suitable ground, which will be okay for those closer to the lead, providing they can get off the fence rounding the turn.

Speed and Tactics 

Golden Slippers are typically run at a genuine to solid speed and this year looks no different. Extreme Choice (7) has good early speed and should cross a few inside him quickly and then have Capitalist somewhere on his inside. What happens in the next 100m from this point could go a long way to influencing the outcome of the race (more on that below.)

As Extreme Choice is getting into his stride, we will start to see pressure come from wide. Kiss and Make Up (9), Good Standing (10), Star Turn (11), Scarlet Rain (16) and Astern (17) are all potential candidates to be pressing the action. If there are to be a couple to cross, then the Waterhouse pair of Scarlet Rain (16) and Kiss and Make Up (9) look the most likely.

The effect of pressure from the outside on Extreme Choice is likely to depend on what Craig Newitt has done early relative to Capitalist.  If he crosses Capitalist early then pressure from the outside will mean he either needs to hand up the lead and potentially land third the fence, which is a precarious position for luck in running and likely track pattern. The alternative is that he’s aggressive to hold the lead, which is less than ideal if those outside really want to attack.

If Newitt can keep Capitalist on his inside early then his range of possible outcomes look more favourable. He can easily let pressure from the outside cross and end up two wide in the running line, just behind the lead. Alternatively, if those outside don’t have the speed or intent to cross after a few hundred metres he can sit outside Capitalist on the lead, or choose to press on and lead himself, without as much pressure. It will be fascinating to see what unfolds in the first 300m of the race.

Early Pace Rating: Above Average to Solid

Late Pace Rating: Below Average to Moderate

Best Suited: 2 to 4 lengths off the lead.

Race Overview

Below are the ratings that recent Golden Slipper winners have run to:

  • 2015 – Vancouver – 104.7
  • 2014 – Mossfun – 104
  • 2013 – Overreach – 106
  • 2012 – Pierro – 105.5
  • 2011 – Sepoy – 106.5
  • 2010 – Crystal Lily – 103.5
  • 2009 – Phelan Ready – 104
  • 2008 – Sebring – 104


The average winner rating since 2008 has been 104.8.

Extreme Choice brings a peak of 106.5 (Blue Diamond) into this race, while the best lead up form behind him is in the 101-103 range.

Given the likelihood of some new career peaks in this race, the winning mark looks almost certain to be in the 103 to 106.5 rating range, largely driven by the performance of Extreme Choice. He’s realistically the only one we can see taking this race to 106.5 or close to that, but if he is well short of his best then the race is likely to rate in the 103 to 104 range.

Runner by Runner Analysis 

He’s a seriously elite 2YO that went to a new peak of 106.5 in The Blue Diamond, the equal highest rating performance in the race in at least the last 25 years (with Sepoy). It’s one thing to have a horse with clearly the best form / ratings leading into a race, but it’s another when that level of performance is at the truly elite level… it just makes it that much harder for the others to surpass.

Of course Extreme Choice has to run something near to his peak again, but he has all of the attributes to do so. He has good early speed, relaxes well in his races, is drawn perfectly (subject to tactical choices discussed above), has experience the Sydney way of going, is bred to handle sting out of the ground and has not been overly taxed so far in his career.

Sepoy had a very similar profile to what we’ve seen from Extreme Choice so far and he went on to win The Golden Slipper at his sixth 2YO start and fifth start in the preparation, after being in Melbourne for three runs including the Blue Diamond. Extreme Choice is having just his fourth career run and third run this preparation, so there’s nothing objective to suggest he’s is at any greater than the average risk a horse poses of putting in a below par run. The reality is that he can afford to rate at least length below his Blue Diamond win and still most likely win the race.

At an assessed price of $2.60 he’s hardly a certainty (a 38.5% win chance in fact), but he’s impossible to fault in the race and the market is offering $3.0 to $3.20, which is a tremendous value edge.

He was very good in the Blue Diamond with a 102.3 rating and while there’s no case to say he should have won the race, he would have finished a little closer had he not been speared off on the bend. His big chance here to turn the tables comes from a better barrier draw and the ability to sit close to Extreme Choice in the run.  His strong effort in the Blue Diamond and scope to improve makes him the clear danger in the race.

If there is a concern with him, it is the lack of a run the Sydney way of going. Since 2005 there have been 21 Golden Slipper runners that came to the race without a run the Sydney way of going for zero winners and just two placegetters.  Five started less than $10 for zero winners and zero placegetters. Such a small sample certainly doesn’t condemn Flying Artie because he hasn’t run in Sydney yet, but it is less than ideal.

Ran a 96 rating winning the Black Opal in Canberra and looks likely to elevate his rating with a stronger up front pace in this race. However it’s a significant jump to progress from 96 to at least a 103 to get in the competitive zone.

Took a big step forward last start at just his second career start to run a 100.7 rating defeating Capitalist by 2.3 lengths. That’s a little below the mark here, but he certainly has an improvers profile and we actually think he can elevate to a higher level when racing close to a more genuine speed, rather than the slow speed of last start.

As a side point, Gai Waterhouse has an excellent record with Colts in this race. Since 2005 she’s only raced nine colts in The Golden Slipper for three winners (Sebring, Pierro and Vancouver) and five placegetters. Only six of those were decent chances at $10 or less in the market (like Kiss and Make Up is), for three winners and five placegetters. He’s definitely one of the better chances in this race and a worthy value price.

Won a slowly run Silver Slipper over Defcon back on 20/2, but his 96.5 rating was just fair and well and truly short of what is needed to be in the mix here. There’s no doubt he’s an improver and the prospect of a strong run race here will help him reach a higher rating, but then he also has the widest barrier in the field to deal with. It

More concerning is that he missed his lead up run when scratched and comes to this race off a 28 day break, which is not the profile of a Slipper winner. When you combine that with the prospect that he needs a massive career peak, he’s hard to like in the race.

Has a peak of 97.5 in the Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) and gives no impression he can elevate to a big new peak over 1200m.

He was the ruling favourite up until we saw Extreme Choice in the Blue Diamond and then had his colours lowered last start by Kiss and Make Up. The challenge he faces is that he must lift to a clear new career peak here, well above his Wyong and Gold Coast Magic Millions wins and at least one length above his debut win over 1000m. Achieving that off a 95.4 last start and from Barrier 2, which is likely to be a disadvantage at this stage of the day does not seem the right set up for a Golden Slipper winner.

He ranked as the fourth best 2YO in Australia with us after his debut rating behind Yankee Rose in November and then well and truly confirmed that when he won first up at Randwick in a 101.9 rating. He’s a talented Colt on the improve and while his best may ultimately come over 1400-1600m, he’s up there with the better chances in this race.

His best lead up form is a 94.1 rating, which he could very well improve on here, but it’s hard to see him suddenly elevating to the elite level needed to win this race.

Her last start win might read Group 2, but it lacked any real substance, barely up to good Saturday class form.

She ran to a 96.8 rating last start and we have to respect Gai’s ability to bring out a new peak in this race, but it seems unlikely that she’ll be able to improve enough here to win this, especially with the prospect of working from a wide draw.

She really appreciated a fast up front pace last start and won in a rock solid 101 rating, which is just a length below the competitive 103 mark for this race. She was off a 28 day break in that race, so there’s the prospect of some fitness improvement and a new peak in this race. She might not have the stable’s elect rider, but looks the best of the Godolphin runners.

She is first up into this race which is a very unusual preparation and certainly not the profile of a Golden Slipper winner. However back in November she won over 1100m in a very strong 103 rating, which ranks her up there with the best 2YO’s in the Country. Good Standing has also given some confirmation to that courtesy of his first up win. It’s hard to see her winning this race first up, but we have enormous respect for her talent so a strong closing effort wouldn’t surprise, with The Sires Produce an ideal next start.

Has a peak this preparation of 90.1. Nowhere near good enough.

Ran a very good 98.4 rating on debut but was then very disappointing last start in a weak race won by French Fern. It’s hard to imagine her bouncing back here to run significantly above that 98.4 mark.

Has a 91.5 peak, nowhere near good enough.

Beaten behind French Fern last start. Outclassed.

Betting Strategy

There are two key value chances in the race:

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Extreme Choice – 80% of race outlay

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Kiss And Make Up – 20% of race outlay