Home » No favourites, no worries as McDonald plots Slipper day smash-and-grab

No favourites, no worries as McDonald plots Slipper day smash-and-grab

No favourites, no worries as McDonald plots Slipper day smash-and-grab

“The Galaxy is always a hard one for me being a handicap but I have been locked into Aft Cabin for a while now,” McDonald said. “He has had that prep run under his belt and has come back an even better horse than last time.

“I’m sure he is a group 1 sprinter and I think he can prove it on Saturday. He is being trained as a sprinter now; he can be explosive at that trip.”

Aft Cabin couldn’t find a clear passage in a small field in the Challenge Stakes, bursting through late to run third behind Passive Aggressive, but from a good draw in The Galaxy he should get the right run.

“I think he could be my best ride of the day, the way he felt the other morning,” McDonald said.

The champion hoop knows what he has to beat in the Golden Slipper after gliding Storm Boy to his Skyline Stakes victory, but Switzerland has impressed him since the beginning of his preparation and continues to take the right steps.

“He is a different horse to Storm Boy, but he is a winner and winners win and losers lose,” McDonald said. “I just like the way he goes about it and he has a big top gear when he has something to chase. I don’t think he has peaked yet.

“He has got a great gate [seven], which was important. He will relax and get his chance to gun them down late.”

Switzerland gets the better of Shangri La Express in the Pierro Plate at Randwick.Credit: Getty

Chris Waller decided to flip Militarize into the George Ryder Stakes at weight-for-age rather than the three-time group 1 winner staying against his peers in the Rosehill Guineas.

“It is tough for the three-year-olds because they are so close to the older horses in this race but I think this is the year to do it because there is no star there,” McDonald said.

“There is no Anamoe or Fangirl in it and you have to remember Militarize is a three-time group 1 winner at 1400m twice and 1600m, so you would think this is his best trip.


“He ran well in the Cox Plate in the spring and finds a very winnable race for a class colt like him.”

McDonald’s group 1 afternoon starts with an interesting one. Imported mare Via Sistina will have her first Australian run in the Ranvet Stakes, and she had McDonald buzzing after his first ride on her on Tuesday.

She brings a big price tag – $5.4 million – and an impressive record from Europe with a win and three placings from four runs at the top level.

“She is a highly credentialed mare and we just don’t see horses like her come down here from Europe to race,” McDonald said. “You just don’t see horses that win a Pretty Polly [Stakes] and run second in a Champions Stakes come down here.

“She felt all quality and if she can replicate that form from Europe and she will be the one to beat. It might be a good day.”

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