Godolphin Takes Aim at Golden Slipper
Godolphin jockey William Buick has gone for potential over experience in choosing Trekking as his mount in Saturday G1 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill.
Buick had the choice of trainer John O’Shea’s two runners in the rich juvenile feature, but went for Trekking despite the colt’s outside barrier braw, leaving the mount on stablemate Veranillo to local rider Brenton Avdulla.
Buick, who arrived in Sydney last week to cover for the injured James Doyle, rode both colts on the training track on Tuesday morning, declaring each of them to have good prospects.
The 28-year-old said he had also studied video of each colt’s races in a crash-course on Australian two-year-old form.
In the end, it was Trekking’s last start second when first-up in the G3 Black Opal Stakes in Canberra that swayed him.
“It was very hard to pick between them, I just thought that if he’d had a bit more luck in Canberra last time he could have won,” Buick said.
“He looks like a colt who is gearing himself up for a big one. He hasn’t been in the same company as Veranillo, but he feels like a class colt, I think he’s a horse with untapped potential.”
Trekking will start from the outside gate in the 16-horse field with Veranillo drawing 11.
John O’Shea, who trains both colts, has introduced blinkers to the raceday kit of the four-start veteran Veranillo in a bid to help him find the extra needed to get into the finish of the A$3.5m race.
“Blinkers go on for the first time and they seemed to have the right effect on him this morning in his work at Osborne Park,” O’Shea said.
“He’s drawn a nice gate for his style of racing. There’s a lot of speed inside and there’s a lot of speed outside.
“I think he’s going to be in a nice cruising position about five lengths off the speed and hopefully he can get to the right part of the track.”
Like Buick, he was impressed with Trekking’s run in the Black Opal when the colt finished off strongly behind the winner Trapeze Artist at his first run since winning on debut in December.
“I thought his run was outstanding in the Black Opal, he’s a colt with a lot of quality and a lot of class,” he said.
With the likelihood of a rain-affected track at Rosehill on Saturday, the outside gate may prove a blessing for Trekking in a race that has an abundance of early speed.
The fillies Houtzen and She Will Reign are rated the leading contenders and both have wide barriers and natural brilliance, which suggests they will go forward.
Also among the top prospects is the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy who has barrier eight and the Pierro filly Tulip who has 10.