Godolphin Ready for Golden Slipper Glory
Godolphin has its first confirmed starter in the 2017 G1 Golden Slipper Stakes thanks to a courageous victory by Veranillo in Saturday’s Listed Hinchinbrook Plate at Randwick.
Veranillo kept his unbeaten record intact, scoring by a length-and-a-half from Exceeds, but only after fending off a series of rivals.
After settling Veranillo on the speed, his jockey James Doyle called on the colt with 250m to run. No sooner had he taken the lead than he was challenged by Cuba who put his head in front and seemed set for victory.
But under strong encouragement from Doyle, Veranillo fought back and was coming away on the line.
The win took Veranillo’s earnings past $145,000 from his two wins, a figure that will ensure his place in the field for the A$3 million Golden Slipper run at Rosehill on March 18.
Trainer John O’Shea said he would consider a further Slipper lead-up run in the G2 Skyline Stakes on February 25, predicting plenty of improvement to come from the son of Medaglia D’Oro.
“He’s always been a really nice horse, and we’ve felt that despite the fact that he’s a lazy worker at home, that he would produce on raceday, and at the moment he’s doing that,” O’Shea said.
“I think ultimately when he gets a bit of headgear he’ll be even better but we’re just going through the process of him learning his trade.
“That win will probably get him in to the Slipper now in terms of prizemoney, so we can just smoke our pipe and give him a run somewhere, put the blinkers on and see if that helps him find a little bit more.”
Doyle also expects Veranillo to progress with racing.
“He’s certainly going the right way, he’s improved from his first start to his second start and he’ll improve again,” the jockey said.