Home » Eye of the storm: Question mark over Golden Slipper favourite

Eye of the storm: Question mark over Golden Slipper favourite

Eye of the storm: Question mark over Golden Slipper favourite

Jamie Kah returns after winning the Blue Diamond on Hayasugi.Credit: Getty

Other than winning one of the seven races which offer a start in the Slipper, the entry order is determined by prizemoney and, this year, money earned in Victoria carried horses into the field.

Hayasugi, who is at $17 in the betting, may be a once in generation filly. Her effort in winning the Blue Diamond Preview and Blue Diamond Prelude before taking out the Blue Diamond has been achieved only once before by a filly – Midnight Fever in 1987.

She has been underestimated throughout her career, starting at $16 in the Blue Diamond before being too strong for Lady Of Camelot. She has overcome checked passages in her lead-ups but always found ways to win under the guidance of jockey Jamie Kah.

She has a lower profile coming out of the Cranbourne stable of Clinton McDonald, rather than the big yards of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, who have at least six Slipper runners including Storm Boy, or Chris Waller.

Waller has Sydney’s other unbeaten colt in the field, Switzerland, which took care of four Golden Slipper rivals in the Todman, leaving generous gaps as margins, usually an indication of quality.

Behind the Snitzel colt were Silver Slipper winner Straight Charge and Golden Gift winner Shangri La Express, which could have been called the best Sydney colt at times during the autumn and spring.

It has been a steady build towards a peak on Golden Slipper day for Switzerland, which is the hallmark of the Waller training style.

“We haven’t found the bottom of him yet,” jockey James McDonald said after the Todman.


McDonald had been in line for the seat on Storm Boy before the ride was given to England’s Ryan Moore who won the Golden Slipper on Shinzo last year. Sydney’s premier jockey labelled Storm Boy “a beast” after his Skyline victory.

Storm Boy drawing barrier two puts him in the perfect position to control the race and he will more than likely be in front of his main rivals Switzerland and Hayasugi at the top of the straight. They have both come through bigger tests in the lead-up than the favourite. The question is will they get close enough to challenge Storm Boy in the straight. And if they can get close, will Storm Boy have another gear?

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