World-class jockeys give Slipper Golden glow

When two world-class athletes clash, sparks usually fly, and Coolmore supremo Tom Magnier is predicting exactly that when champion jockeys Ryan Moore and James Mcdonald go head-to-head in the $5 million Golden Slipper.

Moore has flown in from the UK to ride Coolmore’s exciting colt Shinzo, while McDonald partners race favourite Cylinder for Godolphin.

Both jockeys are internationally regarded as being at the top of their profession and both are riding talented and valuable colts in a stallion-making race.

It is high pressure and high stakes and Magnier says that just might produce a show to rival some of the great clashes between two superstars of another sport in tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“I suppose as far as racing’s word stage goes, last year it was James McDonald and Ryan Moore,” Magnier said.

“So I think we have a Federer v Nadal like day on Saturday at Rosehill. Wouldn’t it be great to see the two of them going at it down the straight?”

Magnier is especially hopeful Moore will be in the finish aboard Shinzo, one of two Coolmore-owned runners in Saturday’s 1200m race, along with undefeated filly Learning To Fly.

A victory by either would be immensely valuable – for Shinzo, it would secure his stud value, while Learning To Fly would provide a huge boost for Coolmore’s freshman stallion Justify.

But it isn’t all economics. Winning this race is a cherished goal, both personal and professional.

For all Coolmore’s world-wide success, they have never claimed a Golden Slipper and for Magnier, the race is a ‘bucket list’ item.

“There are not many trophies in the world where you can close your eyes and picture that trophy. The Golden Slipper is one of those,” Magnier said.

“The build-up and the buzz for the Slipper this week has been second-to-none

“It’s all you think about when you go to sleep at night and the first thing you think about in the morning. The kids can see Dad has a bit of a buzz in the stride this week.”

For Moore, winning a Slipper would be another feather in an already decorated cap.

He has ridden 168 Group 1 winners across the globe, three of them in Australia including the 2014 Melbourne Cup aboard Protectionist.

But his trio of local majors have all been in Victoria and in two previous Golden Slipper rides aboard Odyssey Moon (2015) and Formality (2017), Moore is yet to manage a place.

After partnering Shinzo in a trackwork gallop at Rosehill on Thursday morning, the man many rate as the best jockey in the world reckons he might finally have the right horse to break his Group 1 drought in Sydney.

“I’ve been lucky enough to ride in this race a couple of times, I haven’t had any luck so far,” Moore said.

“I’m very much looking forward to it. This is one of the big four races in Australia and it is great to be going into the Slipper with a good chance.”

About RS NewsWire

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