Steel City and Blanc De Blanc attempt to secure a Golden Slipper spot

Two of the most luckless juveniles in training are set to go head-to-head in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes in a last-ditch attempt to secure a Golden Slipper spot.

Steel City and Blanc De Blanc are 38th and 50th in the Slipper ballot respectively despite both boasting strong formlines around several of the season’s top two-year-olds.

Since winning at Newcastle in November, Blanc De Blanc has been plagued by wide barriers but has still turned in outstanding performances to be narrowly beaten by the likes of Learning To Fly and Lazzago.

The prizemoney gained from her placings in the Inglis Nursery and Millennium don’t count towards the Slipper because the races are sales-restricted, leaving her well down the order of entry and needing to win the Magic Night to get into the juvenile showpiece.

However, her run of outside barriers has continued and Blanc De Blanc will have to overcome gate 13 of 16 at Rosehill on Saturday.

“It’s just extraordinary she keeps drawing these gates,” trainer Michael Freedman said.

“She’s in great order, she’s just going to need a bit of luck.”

Steel City also heads into Saturday’s race with a tale of woe.

She bumped into Red Resistance and Learning To Fly at her first two starts, getting to within three-quarters of a length of both Slipper fancies, then had a hard-luck story in the Blue Diamond Stakes when she was bottled up on the fence behind the tiring leader and couldn’t get clear.

Regan Bayliss rides her for the first time in the Magic Night and he has extra incentive to get the win, having also been booked to partner her a week later if she makes the Golden Slipper field.

“She ran second to Red Resistance and second to Learning To Fly, then they put blinkers on for the first time and she was very unlucky in the Blue Diamond so I’m looking forward to riding her,” Bayliss said.

“Hopefully she can win that and get a run in the Slipper. I’m booked on her for both races.”

Steel City is trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, who Bayliss has teamed with before to win a feature two-year-old race in Sydney having steered Sneaky Five to victory in the 2020 Golden Gift.

The pair head early markets for the Magic Night Stakes (1200m) with Steel City a $3.20 favourite ahead of Blanc De Blanc at $3.70.

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