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TAB Golden Slipper - A Runner-By-Runner Guide

An in-depth look at the chances of every runner in Saturday's Group 1 $5 million TAB Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.

STORM BOY. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

1. Storm Boy (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott): How do you punch holes in this very well named colt (out of a mare called Pelican for Aussie movie buffs out there) who goes into a Slipper four from four and not really tested by any rival to date. Absorbed the high pressure of the Magic Millions to win running away and probably had an ideal lead up with the Skyline run as he liked. He'll want to step away reasonably well to avoid a shuffle back from his inside gate but that's reaching for a negative. Clearly the horse to beat.

2. Fully Lit (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott): Outstanding win in the Inglis Millennium off a wide run and was a month between races going into the Black Opal where he did a bit of work early but had no answer to the winner late. Could go one of two ways – he'll either be better for that run and can peak up again, or his defeat was a sign he's on the way down after that big win at Randwick. Certainly has every chance knowing he has the speed to use gate one.

3. Shangri La Express (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott): Early favourite for the Slipper after his Golden Gift win and while he hasn't won in two runs this preparation he's not done a whole lot wrong. He's been outgunned twice by Switzerland, the first time he led and the winner sat outside him. Then in the Todman he trailed the speed but had no answer to that colt's finish. He boxed on okay for third there. At peak now and he'll be in that first bunch from a good draw. On face value may struggle to turn the tables but wouldn't rule him out.

4. Rue De Royale (Tony and Calvin Mcevoy): Still a maiden after five starts but he's run a few very smart races in good company. Chased home Shangri La Express in the Golden Gift last spring and then did the same behind Fully Lit in the Millennium. Held up for a run in the VRC Sires' before hitting the line too late into second as a solid favourite. Blinkers go on him, has a big finish but whether that's the right form remains to be seen.

5. Traffic Warden (James Cummings): All the way winner of the VRC Sires' after jumping from the outside gate and he held them at pay pretty strongly too. Both career wins have come in Melbourne and was safely held by the likes of Storm Boy and Prost in his two starts in Sydney. Won't get anywhere near the lead here you'd imagine and, again, may not have the right form leading into this.

6. Straight Charge (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott): He has Slipper winning type written all over him and if the race pans out okay for him he's looking very dangerous. Controlled the race to win the Silver Slipper in easy style before a gallant second to Switzerland in the Todman where he was pressured right up to the turn yet still went under by half a length. Has the tactical speed and the strength to be a major player.

7. Switzerland (Chris Waller): Can't fault his build up to the Slipper, which appears meticulously planned since his debut win back in late January. Showed a different side sitting on speed to win the Pierro then enjoyed the strong tempo when running down Straight Charge. Seems to have drawn a perfect barrier to land off what should be a generous pace and is obviously going to be hard to beat.

8. Bodyguard (Peter and Paul Snowden): Was set to be one of the favourites for the Blue Diamond before being scratched in the lead up to that race. Settled last in the Todman and made some good ground from that position without ever looking like a threat. Given the interrupted build up he's likely to take improvement from that run and some form has come out of his first-up win. Wouldn't surprise if he runs a cheeky race.

9. Dublin Down (Tony & Calvin McEvoy): Backs up after a handy all the way win in the Pago Pago last week in conditions likely to be somewhat similar to what he'll face on Slipper Day. That could be a plus. Started $101 in the Blue Diamond where he wasn't disgraced beaten under four lengths after being held up a couple of times in the straight. Imagine they try to make their own luck up on speed again here and don't think he's the worst chance.

10. Coleman (Matt Laurie): Shrugged off his disappointing effort in the Blue Diamond where he started favourite, had good cover in the run and went backwards from the home turn, by running on into third behind Dublin Down last weekend. He's had a minor setback since with some foot sensitivity, not sure he's entitled to be shorter than he horse who beat him last start.

11. Holmes A Court (Peter & Paul Snowden): Showed a good deal of promise with placings in two Blue Diamond lead ups in the summer, when not really fancied in betting. Backed those up with an easy Black Opal win where he may have been the beneficiary of the way the race was run but nonetheless impressed. Market doesn't like him again but he's done little wrong so expect him to put in.

12. Prost (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott): Definitely been overlooked by the market despite having some excellent form around him and looking the type who will be strong at the end of a tough 1200m. Too good first-up in the Canonbury and while he was no match for Storm Boy in the Skyline he was ridden off the pace there, while the winner dictated, and still pulled a bit of ground late. He's not to be underestimated.

13. Hayasugi (Clinton Mcdonald ): It takes a smart filly to sweep the Blue Diamond series and she did just that with narrow, but strong, wins in the Preview then Prelude then the main event. She hasn't been well served at the barriers in any of those races and definitely hasn't been handed an easy task here from a wide gate again. But she will go back and if they are running on she's shown she's a very good chaser.

14. Lady Of Camelot (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott): She's been rated one of the best fillies of her generation and that'd be a fair call after a dominant first-up win in the Widden, beating a subsequent winner, then an enormous second in the Blue Diamond chasing a strong speed and still fighting right to the line for a close defeat to Hayasugi. Ticked over well with a trial win since and has the draw to be prominent. She'll run well.

15. Manaal (Michael Freedman): Confirmed the Lady Of Camelot form with a top win in the Sweet Embrace three weeks ago. She's got the racing style that might help her cope with the outside gate, especially if she can jump well and slot in somewhere. It will still require a big performance but she looks the type who won't be gasping for air at the end of 1200m and is probably a little over the odds.

16. Eneeza (Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman): Scratched from the Magic Night last week so we haven't seen her since she ran fourth in the Blue Diamond. It's fair to say she had every possible chance there, enjoying a soft run around fifth and she was under the pump coming to the turn. To her credit she boxed on okay to just miss third in a photo. Faces a task from her wide gate and will need a new peak.

17E. Espionage (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott): It's not often a Breeders' Plate winner misses out on making the Golden Slipper final field so this colt can count himself unlucky. And that's what he's been in two runs back since that win, just outdashed in the Silver Slipper then things went horribly wrong in the Todman off the outside gate and he wound up fifth. Clearly has the ability and if he happened to sneak into the field, and the breaks go his way, he could show up.

SPEED MAP: There's potential for this Slipper to be brutally run but almost all the speed comes from the same stable so they might find their places quickly and settle there. That's just a speculative theory. If Storm Boy jumps with them he may well let Fully Lit and Shangri La Express, drawn either side, go while Lady Of Camelot and Straight Charge look to come over and find their spots. Eneeza, Switzerland and Holmes A Court could find themselves in the next group.

6 Straight Charge
12 Prost
7 Switzerland

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