Trainer Chris Waller has won his first Golden Slipper in 2023 with his Pago Pago winning colt Shinzo so brave on the quick back-up to take out the $5 million feature at Rosehill off a gun ride by international hoop Ryan Moore.
It was a huge day in Sydney for Moore who won his 169th Group 1 aboard William Haggas’ UK raider Dubai Honour in the Ranvet Stakes before taking out his 170th on Snitzel colt Shinzo in the Group 1 $5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m).
“Growing up the Golden Slipper was always one of the big races that everyone knew around the world. Maybe times have changed, but it was always the premier race in New South Wales,” Moore said.
“Tom (Magnier from Coolmore) called me last week at this time and asked if I’d like to come down. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here. He won well last week, he’s a very talented colt, he’s got a super attitude. Lovely big strong long striding horse.”
Moore timed his run to perfection in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds allowing Shinzo to settle back off the pace before rallying hard up the inside on the home straight.
Shinzo was able to charge towards the line and overtake the James Cummings-trained favourite Cylinder, who had found the lead at the 200m, and win by over a length with improvement still to come.
“It’s one of those moments isn’t it? As you know I get pretty caught up in the emotion of winning races. But honestly, there’s so many great races on our calendar every year and having runners in it is a privilege. I know it’s a big deal and I respect it,” a typically emotional Waller told the media after securing his first Golden Slipper trophy.
“He’s a very good colt and I appreciate the owners with entrusting me, not just with him but with a lot of other good horses, valuable horses.
“I guess that takes things to a different level of pressure. They need results and they chose me to try and find a Group 1 Golden Slipper winner and we’ve managed to do it for them.”
Finishing further back in third two and a half-lengths off the winner was the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained King’s Gambit, third to Cylinder in the Silver Slipper last time out, who was good after sweating up badly pre-race.
King’s Gambit finish ahead of the fellow Snowden runners Don Corleone and $61 roughie Empire Of Japan who also put in eye-catching runs.
It was a drama-filled Slipper with Waller’s filly Lazzago nearly falling suffering terrible interference at the 600m and being pulled up by jockey Kerrin McEvoy who said she was lucky to stay on her feet.
Lazzago was badly checked by Annabel Neasham‘s previously undefeated fill Learning To Fly who missed the kick, found herself right back and then got spooked when knocking the rail.
She threw jockey Chad Schofield from the saddle before continuing on to finish the race riderless.
All involved escaped with only minor injuries.
Next-up for Shinzo is a likely run at Randwick on April 1 in the Group 1 $1 million Inglis Sires’ (1400m) as he looks to complete the double Fireburn did last autumn.
“I’m sure he’s going to be better when he goes up in trip. We were lucky we got a nice draw, was able to follow Cylinder through and it all just went beautifully for us. It all worked out,” Moore added.
“I’m sure he’s not just an out and out six furlong (1200m) sprinter.
“I’m sure he’s going to be more comfortable when he gets over more ground. It feels like he’s improving and he’ll continue to improve and all being he’ll have a good future.”