Slipper hopefuls set for golden path
THE Golden Slipper prospects of exciting colts Accession and Dawn Passage will go on the line when the pair clash in the first $2 million Inglis Millennium (1200m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Only horses bought at the 2018 Inglis sale ring are eligible to enter the Millennium and Brazen Beau colt Accession and Dawn Approach juvenile Dawn Passage are the leading contenders to win the inaugural race.
Dawn Passage was scintillating on debut at Royal Randwick just over a week ago for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Blake Shinn rode him that day and said Saturday's race has more significance than the big prizemoney on offer.
"I think the winner of that race could stamp themselves as a Golden Slipper horse," Shinn said.
"I wasn't sure how good he was but I couldn't ask for much more than what he did on debut.
"If he could come out and reproduce that effort he could be a really, really good horse."
Shinn has only been back riding for a fortnight after spending time on the sideline with a serious neck injury.
In that time he went to America where he took in the other side of racing - breeding.
"It's a race built up around the sales for Inglis horses and breeding industry in an integral part of our game and to win this race would mean a lot," he said.
"Every race is important and this is a new initiative for Sydney racing and a great concept."
Shinn will face some close competition with long-time friend Denise Martin hoping her horse Accession can bring him down.
The Chris Waller-trained two-year-old has had three starts and improved significantly with each run.
He bolted in last start with James McDonald on and Martin knows the importance of the race, not only for Accession but his sire Brazen Beau.
"I wanted to buy a Brazen Beau colt last year and we found one on the Gold Coast but for a variety of reasons it wasn't possible to buy him," Martin said.
"I said to Henry Plumtree, formally with Godolphin and now with Cambridge Stud in New Zealand, that I was very keen to buy one before the sales season ended.
"At the Inglis Easter sale he found two for me and I loved both of them. I wasn't sure which one I liked best. I only wanted to buy one and I said to Henry on the morning they both went through 'I think I've got to buy two'.
"I'd rather have two than one."
Martin thinks he'll take a world or beating as the $4 second favourite behind Dawn Passage ($3).
"He was so impressive when he won last start and it looks like he's still on and upward spiral and if that's the case he's in with a great chance," Martin said.
"James said when he rode him last start that he was a rocket and he loved the way he found several lengths as soon as he gave him some rein.
"It will give us an idea of where he's headed because ultimately we want to head to the Slipper."