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Santos stakes claims for Golden Slipper Stakes with impressive on-pace performance

Ken Boman | 23.02.2018

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained colt Santos (I Am Invincible) boosted his prospects for next month’s Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) with an impressive on-pace performance in taking out Saturday’s Pierro Plate (1100m) at Randwick.

Santos showed promise on debut when third behind Performer (Exceed And Excel) in the Breeders’ Plate (Listed, 1000m) at Randwick in September and Saturday was only his second start since and his first run this preparation.

After beginning well, Santos raced outside the leader and favourite Legend Of Condor (Not A Single Doubt), going a bit keenly at a solid pace before moving up well to take the lead halfway down the straight.

He then went on to score decisively by two lengths from the talented Gary Portelli-trained colt Exceltic (Excelebration) in a time of 1:03.70 (11.58 200m rate), equivalent to 1:09.49 for 1200 metres, quite a smart time on the Good 4 track.

Santos’ early sectional times however were the most impressive part of his performance.

Clocked from the 1000 metre point, his 200 metre breakdown was 10.67, 11.05 (400m in 21.72), 11.42 (600m in 33.14), 10.94 (800m in 44.08) with his final 200 metres in 11.57 to give the colt a fast last 1000 metres in 55.65.

Santos promptly shortened to $9.00, on the fourth line of betting with CrownBet for the Golden Slipper Stakes, with Sunlight (Zoustar) and Performer sharing favouritism at $7.00 with Estijaab (Snitzel) next at $8.00.

Sunlight and Estijaab as well as the unbeaten Godolphin-raced filly Gongs (Dawn Approach) are engaged in a star-studded juvenile field in tomorrow’s Silver Slipper Stakes (Gr 2, 1100m) at Rosehill, a race that looks sure to make further impact on the Golden Slipper Stakes markets.

Later in Saturday’s Rosehill meeting, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable had two more runners that impressed On The Watch, despite not winning.

Firstly it was the effort of the dual Group One winner Global Glamour (Star Witness) who set a cracking pace before fighting on very gamely for second to the Doncaster Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) prospect Endless Drama (Lope De Vega) in the Apollo Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m).

Having her third start since resuming after racing in the Melbourne Spring Carnival, Global Glamour was ridden aggressively by Rachel King to head off the strongly fancied Addictive Nature (Savabeel).

Then after finding the lead, Global Glamour travelled strongly at a solid pace, grabbed a break nearing the 300 metres and did very well in fighting back for second, beaten only a long neck in the fast time of 1:22.46 on the Good 4 track.

Global Glamour’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 1200 metres to the 200 metre point) was 10.40, 11.09 (400m in 21.49), 11.59 (600m in 33.08), 11.66 (800m in 44.74), and 11.66 for a fast 1000 mid-race time of 56.40.

Then in the Light Fingers Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) her stablemate Shumookh (Dream Ahead) also recorded fast early sectionals before a close second to Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) winning filly Alizee (Sepoy) in a time of 1:10.06.

It was only Shumookh’s third race start, having advanced quickly after winning a Three-Year-Old Maiden (1250m) at Canterbury on debut on 10 January and she was competing under set weight conditions with all fillies carrying 56 kilograms in the quality Group Two race.

After being given a good trip in fourth place by Tim Clark, Shumookh challenged strongly at the 200 metres and then fought on really gamely to be beaten only a head by a high class and experienced opponent in Alizee.

Shumookh’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 1000 metres point), was 10.30, 10.80 (400m in 21.10), 11.68 (600m in 32.78), 11.65 (800m in 44.43) and 12.30 for a fast last 1000 metre time of 56.73.

It was a performance of a filly that should now be considered to possess Group One potential.

On the subject of Group One racing, Saturday’s Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (Gr 1, 1000m) at Flemington continued the amazing transformation of the Lindsay Park-trained imported gelding Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato) who returned amazing closing sections in his last-stride victory.

After commencing racing in England with two wins over 10 furlongs, then subsequently racing in Hong Kong for one win over 1600 metres from seven starts, Redkirk Warrior has now won two of Australia’s major sprints, previously winning the 2017 Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m) last March.

Ridden in cold fashion by Regan Bayliss, Redkirk Warrior remained in last place in the ten-horse field before switching deeper and into clear running at the 300 metres.

He then showed a blistering turn of foot, with Redkirk Warrior snatching a short head victory at the post from the $1.80 favourite Redzel (Snitzel), who was chasing his seventh successive win, in a time of 56.33 on the Good 3 track.

Redkirk Warrior returned absolutely outstanding closing times, with the last 800 metres in 41.99, last 600 metres in 31.59 and last 400 metres in 21.21 – his 200 metre breakdown being 10.41, 10.38, 10.56 and 10.64.

And in a touch of irony, Redkirk Warrior is now likely to return to England to compete in one of the major sprints at Royal Ascot in June after commencing his career there as a stayer.

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