“We’ll have a crack,” declared Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Shane Young when he announced that star filly Wonderful To Fly would tackle the State’s best colts and geldings in the $125,000 Choices Flooring Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park next Friday night.
Young was on a high after driving Wonderful To Fly to a magnificent victory in the $30,000 Gold Bracelet on Friday night, with the $1.30 favourite outclassing her nine rivals and winning by more than nine lengths from Dontbesillychilli at a 1.57.8 rate over the 2130m journey.
Young is not particularly concerned that only eight fillies have won in the 53-year history of the Golden Slipper, a group 1 feature event for two-year-olds.
“Wonderful To Fly is developing into a really smart horse,” he said. “She has pulled up as good as gold and we’ll have a crack next week. I wouldn’t consider running her in the Slipper unless I believed she would at least be competitive.
“I don’t like to knock them, but there is no stand-out among the colts and geldings this season, though You’re So Fine obviously is pretty smart. It’s a good group of colts and geldings, and with a reasonable draw my filly can perform strongly.”
Young considers that Wonderful To Fly is a better filly than Rosies Ideal, who he drove to victory in the 2017 Gold Bracelet before tackling the colts and geldings in the Golden Slipper the following week. “Rosies Ideal punched the breeze and finished fourth behind Jack Mac in the Slipper when another filly Cott Beach finished second.”
The inaugural Golden Slipper in 1968 was won by Vince Chalker’s filly Sordice, and since then the successful fillies in the Slipper have been Omista (1971), Via Vista (1980), Mazzini Magic (1988), Whitbys Miss Penny (1990), Whitbys Merit (1993), Spirit of Navajo (2005) and Arma Xpress (2012).
In recent years, some of the highly-rated fillies who have contested the Golden Slipper without success have been Centrefold Angel (second in 2009), Miss Baypoint (third in 2010), Sensational Gabby (ninth in 2011), Dodolicious (second in 2015), Sheer Rocknroll (third in 2015), Dracarys (seventh in 2018), Some Copper Beach (third in 2019) and Black Jack Baby (11TH in 2020).
Wonderful To Fly is in peak form, with stylish wins at each of her past four starts, taking her record to 12 starts for seven wins and three placings for stakes of $135,624.
On Friday night she began smartly from the No. 5 barrier and settled down in third position, three back on the pegs, before Young urged her forward after 400m to burst to the front. She was not extended in sprinting over the final quarters in 28.5sec. and 28.7sec.
“Winning that easily didn’t shock me,” said Young. “She felt really sharp in the preliminary and she is capable of recording faster times.”
Wrtitten by: Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators