Storm Boy dazzles again and cements 2024 Golden Slipper favouritism

Gai Waterhouse and Adrain Bott don’t just have their sights set on the Golden Slipper with Storm Boy, they are also eyeing off a clean sweep of the juvenile triple crown.

As the raging Slipper favourite made light work of his Skyline Stakes (1200m) rivals at Randwick on Saturday, Bott was already thinking of the bigger autumn picture and the heights the $60 million colt might reach.

He revealed that he and Waterhouse were keen to target the youngster, not just at the Golden Slipper (1200m), but at the ATC Sires’ Produce (1400m) and Champagne Stakes (1600m) as well.

“We’ve had to prepare for the Golden Slipper, but we’ve got big targets for the triple crown as well,” Bott said.

“I’d like to think he is only going to be better suited getting over the 1400, 1600 metres in time.

“It’s very exciting for everyone involved.”

Having his first start since demolishing his Magic Millions rivals, Storm Boy wasn’t the best to begin but quickly mustered speed to take up the running under new jockey James Mcdonald.

As the pressure came on at the top of the straight, the $1.18 favourite with betting apps found another gear, extending his advantage and cruising to the line 1-1/2 lengths clear of stablemate Prost ($12) with Duvana ($18) another 1-1/4 lengths away third.

Bott said it was a relief to see Storm Boy return so well from his Magic Millions foray and tick the final box in what will be his last start before the Golden Slipper in three weeks.

“It’s always a little bit nerve wracking seeing these profile horses come back off that turnaround,” Bott said.

“He’s a lovely style of horse, he’s got plenty of gears.

“It’s his first run (back) and at 1200 metres off a while between races and a freshen up – he’s only had the one trial and he’s a lovely, big colt – so I think condition-wise, that will tighten him up nicely.”

McDonald was having his first race day feel of Storm Boy and came away brimming with praise for the Coolmore colt.

He believes there is still more under the bonnet and expects the youngster to thrive in a high-pressure race like the Slipper.

“He’s as good as you get,” McDonald said.

“He’s strong, he knows he’s really good and the more you ask him the more he keeps giving.

“Until he gets into a high-pressure race, I think that is when you’ll see a fair dinkum horse.”

Connections are yet to decide if McDonald will keep the Slipper ride, or if it will go to English jockey Ryan Moore, who jetted in to claim last year’s two-year-old centrepiece for Coolmore on Shinzo.

However, McDonald made it clear he is keen to stick with the Skyline Stakes winner.

“Ryan (Moore) is obviously their number one and we’ll see what happens, but if I get the opportunity, I’d love to ride him,” McDonald said.

The Michael Freedman-trained Manaal took out the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) for the fillies to remain the only non-Tulloch Lodge two-year-old to claim a black-type race in Sydney this season.

Manaal also denied Waterhouse and Bott when capturing the Gimcrack Stakes in September and while Freedman said she would most likely press on to the Slipper, he admitted the males looked hard to beat this year.

“She is one of the better fillies around, whether they can stack up against the colts remains to be seen,” Freedman said.

“We thought we could come here and get the job done, we’ll have a think about the Slipper.”

About RS NewsWire

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