Victorian 2YO form reigns in final Golden Slipper 2024 lead-up races

Filly Drifting and Victorian colt Dublin Down are the final two horses to earn Golden Slipper spots, but whether they take up the challenge is yet to be decided.

The Tony and Calvin Mcevoy -trained Dublin Down secured a berth with his upset win in Saturday’s Pago Pago Stakes (1200m), staving off Anode and relegating short-priced favourite Gatsby’s into fourth.

The son of Exceedance had finished down the track in the Blue Diamond Stakes, but the addition of blinkers and a positive Tim Clark ride helped him turn around that performance.

“He had a setback going into the Blue Diamond and then he had to go into it first-up, which just doesn’t happen,” Calvin McEvoy said.

“He actually got pole-axed, held up, the run was better than it looked.

“We were then keen to put the blinkers on. Exceedance really jumped out of the ground when the shades went on and his mum (Dublin Lass) did as well, so I was pleasantly surprised with that.”

McEvoy, who has Rue De Royale safely in the Slipper field, admits the juvenile showpiece hasn’t realistically been on the radar for Dublin Down, however, his Pago Pago Stakes win has prompted a reassessment.

“We weren’t sure whether he was more of a Sires’ (Produce Stakes) horse, so we will keep all of the options open,” McEvoy said.

“But he’s up here, he’s earned his way into the Slipper so we will give it great consideration.”

Dublin Down ($20) showed surprising early speed to kick through and lead and he proved too strong for his rivals, holding Anode ($8.50) at bay by a long neck with fellow Victorian-trained youngster Coleman ($5.50) another 1-3/4 lengths away third.

Peter and Paul Snowden will also monitor Drifting ($4.20) over the next few days before deciding whether she backs-up in the Slipper or is saved for the Percy Sykes Stakes.

The filly booked her spot with a tough victory in the Magic Night Stakes (1200m), sitting at the flanks of the leader before surging to the front in the straight and denying Fly Fly ($3 fav with bookmakers) by 1-1/4 lengths.

She also arrived in Sydney with Melbourn form, having come off a narrow defeat over 1000m at Flemington where Paul Snowden said she did a lot wrong.

“It gave us good confidence that hopefully she did more things right today stepping up in trip and she did that,” Snowden said.

He added that connections would give serious consideration to a 2024 Golden Slipper start, depending on how Drifting came through the run.

“You only get a chance once and she’s a very tough filly so it wouldn’t be beyond her,” Snowden said.

“We’ll give her every opportunity.”

Kiamichi in 2019 is the last filly to win the Magic Night Stakes-Golden Slipper double, while Shinzo backed up from capturing the Pago Pago Stakes to take out the Golden Slipper last year.

McEvoy confirmed Chad Schofield would be aboard Rue De Royale in the Slipper, while Hugh Bowman was likely to partner Dublin Down if he backed up.

About RS NewsWire

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