Home » Switzerland keeps pressure on Storm Boy ahead of Golden Slipper

Switzerland keeps pressure on Storm Boy ahead of Golden Slipper

Switzerland keeps pressure on Storm Boy ahead of Golden Slipper

Image: Steve Hart

Coolmore youngster Switzerland has reaffirmed his Golden Slipper claims

Chris Waller is zeroing in on a second consecutive Golden Slipper after Switzerland took his record to two wins from as many starts in the Pierro Plate at Randwick, outmanoeuvring the previously unbeaten Shangri La Express.

The Coolmore-owned colt mustered speed to sit at the flanks of his Tulloch Lodge rival, who led and kicked strongly, making Switzerland work right to the line for the three-quarters of a length victory.

While pleased with the performance, Waller says Switzerland remains a work in progress and will take immense improvement from what was just his second start.

“It’s early days. We’re just waking him up, he’s still a baby,” Waller said.

“The second horse is no slouch too, everyone knows how well Gai (Waterhouse) and Adrian’s (Bott’s) two-year-olds are going at the moment. He made us work the last 100 metres, and the penny will start to drop now (for Switzerland) as we get deeper into our plans.

“We’re still four or five weeks away from our grand final and I don’t dare want to know what’s there yet, I want to see it on Golden Slipper day.”

Switzerland is already drawing comparisons with last year’s Golden Slipper winner Shinzo, the pair sharing the same sire in Snitzel, the same trainer and the same majority owners in Coolmore.

Waller confirmed the Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 9 was likely to be the juvenile’s only other start before the major, run a fortnight later.

Having his first race ride on Switzerland ($1.65 fav), James Mcdonald had to push the youngster out of his comfort zone to remain in striking distance of Shangri La Express ($3.90) but said the fact the horse was able to adapt and cope signalled his quality.

“He was in foreign territory there being outside the leader, it wasn’t ideal,” McDonald said.

“But it adds another string to his bow.

“He feels extremely talented, and I just love how smooth he is. He takes everything in his stride, nothing really phases him.

“But he got away with that one ridden in a position where he’s never been before, so it was a good effort.”

Adrian Bott remains upbeat that Golden Gift winner Shangri La Express is on track despite suffering his first defeat.

Bott felt race fitness was a factor at the finish and said the horse would press on to the Todman Stakes for a rematch with Switzerland.

“Our colt fought on well and it took a bit for the winner to get to him, then when he did, he couldn’t shake him off easily,” Bott said.

“He was always going to be most vulnerable today.”

The Anthony Cummings-trained Extreme Diva ($26) caught the eye late for third, a length behind the runner-up.


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