Barrier Draw Disappointment for the Top Runners of Golden Slipper!

Written on the 17 March 2017

The barrier draw that was conducted on Tuesday was a disappointment for two of the front runners of the Golden Slipper this year if statistics mean anything.

Houtzen who was bumped to favourite drew the outside barrier 16. There have only been two winners from barrier 16 since 1957. In 2009, Queenslander Phelan Ready defied history, winning the Golden Slipper from barrier 16, on a heavy Rosehill track.

After the late scratching of Look To The Stars in 2015, the favourite Vancouver moved to the outside gate but was able to replicate the feat of Phelan Ready and become just the second horse to win from barrier 16 since 1957.

She Will Reign who has now been downgraded to third to win ($6) drew barrier 13. Since 1957 there has been no winners from barrier 13.

Besides barrier draws it really could be anyone's game this Saturday due to heavy rainfalls, which will most likely be the wettest Golden Slipper meeting in 28 years. On Wednesday, Rosehill was rated a heavy-9 track (wet track getting into a squelchy area) and it doesn't look like things will improve, given the forecast.

ATC general manager of track Lindsay Murphy had to go back to 1990 to find a Golden Slipper track like the one he will produce on Saturday.

"We have had 186 mils in this rain period, which started at the end of February and we have only had two days, last weekend, where it hasn't rained," Murphy said.

The David Hayes partnership has four horses entered into the Golden Slipper including Catchy which has been placed as second to win at $5.00. This filly has had 4 straight wins from 4 starts including the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (G1) last month. Also arrived at the stable is Formality, Tulip and Madeenaty.

"The weather, the wet track is a worry but I can do nothing about it," Hayes said. "I have a great deal of confidence with how we have got here but to tell you the truth, I have no idea about them on the conditions we are going to get on Saturday."

"They have the Melbourne form, which Tulip made look all right last week but we are not used to this wet weather... we haven't had a wet track in Melbourne for a long time."

Hayes has followed his usual preparation, making sure his two-year-olds have had a high-pressure experience before Saturday. Normally he would be confident in Catchy as an unbeaten Blue Diamond winner.

"You can't arrive in the grand final and hope you have a horse to handle it. I always want them to have had that high-pressure run," Hayes said. "Catchy, Formality and Tulip had it in the Blue Diamond and Madeenaty in the Magic Millions, so we know that they are up to that pressure."

"Catchy has the right record and right barrier (in gate eight) to get the right run but the track is the great unknown."

"Only Madeenaty has worked on a wet track, so we are guessing if any of them can get through it. Madeenaty is probably the one that I think the punters have missed. I can't understand how she goes from being beaten at $1.45 to $81."

"I had her a bit fresh the other day and I think she is going to improve."

(Photo: Catchy - Blue Diamond Stakes winner)


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