Coleman, Espionage to undergo Golden Slipper 2024 fitness tests

Victorian colt Coleman and first emergency Espionage have until Friday to prove their fitness after suffering minor setbacks in their respective Golden Slipper build ups.

Coleman’s trainer Matt Laurie told Racing NSW stewards on Wednesday that the dual black-type winner was experiencing “sensitivity” on the inside of his near-fore foot.

However, Laurie added the youngster appeared to be responding well after a three-quarter plate was applied to the affected hoof, and he was planning for the horse to compete in the reduced shoe on Saturday.

Breeders’ Plate winner Espionage has also had a hiccup, co-trainer Adrian Bott informing stewards that the colt has sustained an over-reach wound to the inside of his near-fore heel.

Espionage hasn’t missed any work as a result of the setback and Bott is comfortable the issue has resolved.

The trainer’s bigger concern may be getting the horse into the race as Espionage needs a scratching to force his way into the starting line up.

If he does, Waterhouse and Bott will equal the record seven Golden Slipper runners that John Hawkes saddled up in 2003 – they already have six safely in the field headed by short-priced favourite Storm Boy.

All 17 horses accepted for the $5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) will undergo a final vet inspection on Friday to ensure they are fit to take their place.

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