Queen Of The Ball to contest world’s richest juvenile race

Reigning Golden Slipper-winning trainers Richard and Michael Freedman hoping precocious filly Queen Of The Ball can put herself in the frame for a start in the world’s richest juvenile race.

The brothers captured this year’s Slipper with Stay Inside and if Queen Of The Ball can manage a top-two finish in Saturday’s $1 million Golden Gift (1100m) at Rosehill, the prizemoney will be enough to secure her place in the 2021 Golden Slipper field, taking the pressure off having to qualify in the autumn.

Richard Freedman said the Golden Gift, which will be run for just the third time, had become the most important two-year-old race of the spring.

“It has sort of taken over from all the other two-year-old races pre-Christmas,” Freedman said.

“If she runs first or second you get an automatic start (in the Golden Slipper) and if you run third, you probably get enough prizemoney to take the pressure off anyway.”

Queen Of The Ball, a daughter of top sire I Am Invincible, finished runner-up to Godolphin youngster Ojai at her only start in the Kirkham Plate (1000m) at Randwick last month.

The filly had to work early from a wide gate to take up an on-speed position and raced greenly in the straight, but she showed tenacity to kick strongly when challenged by the winner and go down fighting.

Freedman said Queen Of The Ball had done well since and he expected another competitive showing in the Golden Gift (1100m).

“She had to be used up a little bit from a wide gate to get to that spot,” Freedman said.

“She was always going to get a little bit weary and when they get weary, they do a few things wrong. It’s just par for the course (with juveniles).

“We’re happy that she put herself in that position and she battled on.

“She seems fine and she worked nicely (Tuesday) morning.”

Alysha Collett rides Queen Of The Ball, who has drawn barrier seven and has opened a $10 chance with TAB fixed odds.

Fillies have won the first two editions of the Golden Gift with Dame Giselle successful in 2019 and Victorian Sneaky Five last year.

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