James McDonald celebrates riding Mossfun to win the Golden Slipper at Rosehill on Saturday.
James McDonald celebrates riding Mossfun to win the Golden Slipper at Rosehill on Saturday. PHOTO MATT KING GETTY IMAGES

Slipper winner Mossfun given rest until the spring time

GOLDEN Slipper winner Mossfun will not race again until the spring.

Michael Hawkes, who trains the filly in partnership with his father John and brother Wayne, said Mossfun was headed straight for a spell.

"She's done a big job and it's been a tough first preparation so she is off to the paddock," Hawkes told Radio RSN yesterday.

"Sprinting looks to be her game, but she's earned a spell. She's only had a couple of little freshen ups through this prep so she'll enjoy a break now."

The daughter of Mossman took her record to four wins and a second from five career starts with victory in the Slipper, with her earnings now standing at $2.5 million.

She had her first start on the Kensington track at Randwick on December 14, underlining her obvious potential with a victory in the Inglis Nursery Stakes over 1000m.

Her only defeat came when beaten by Slipper favourite and runner-up Earthquake in the Reisling Slipper trial at Rosehill on March 22.

There were excuses for that loss with Michael Hawkes saying Mossfun overraced when ridden too close to the lead.

That certainly wasn't the case at Rosehill on Saturday.

The filly was last out of the barriers, jockey James McDonald having no option but to snag her over to the rails and ride for luck.

With the big field fanning wide coming around the home turn, Mossfun found plenty of galloping room and powered home near the inside fence to head Earthquake near the line and take the major prize.

As usual there were a number of hard-luck stories, with Believe Yourself (fourth), Memorial (fifth) and Ghibellines (eighth) among the horses to follow.

Believe Yourself charged home to just miss a place, jockey Brenton Avdulla describing the effort, after the filly drew barrier 16, as "massive"

Memorial drew even wider in 17 and her effort to finish fifth as the widest runner was enormous, while jockey Hugh Bowman said Ghibellines "floundered" in the heavy conditions and would be much better suited on top of the ground.

The Golden Slipper was not the only focus at Rosehill on Saturday.

An emotional tribute was paid to young jockey Nathan Berry who passed away in a Sydney hospital on Thursday morning after contracting Norse syndrome in Singapore last month.

A memorial service will be held at Rosehill Gardens at 10am tomorrow to remember his life.


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