Coolmore’s Shinzo hands Waller his first Slipper victory
Colt becomes the 19th Group 1 winner for Arrowfield’s Snitzel and second Slipper winner of the stallion
Before yesterday there were only a few trophies missing from Chris Waller’s illustrious cabinet and the iconic Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) was one that had previously eluded the champion trainer. However, he finally added the juvenile contest to his CV when the Coolmore-raced colt Shinzo produced an impressive display to win the coveted Rosehill Group 1.
The impeccably bred son of Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) secured a ballot free entry into the Group 1 when he landed the Pago Pago Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) the previous weekend, having placed third on debut in the Canonbury Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m), before running second in the Skyline Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) on February 25.
The race was billed as a clash of the titans with powerhouse operations Godolphin and Coolmore, as well as Newgate Farm and partners all well-represented and in the end it turned out to be Godolphin versus Coolmore, with the latter coming home with the spoils.
Shinzo was ridden by visiting jockey Ryan Moore, who had already tasted Group 1 glory earlier in afternoon aboard the William Haggas-trained Dubai Honour (Pride Of Dubai) in the Ranvet Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m), and he was happy to bide his time on Shinzo in the early part of the contest.
As they turned in Moore produced Shinzo up the rail and his mount showed an impressive burst of speed to defeat dual Group 2 winner Cylinder (Exceed And Excel) by just over a length. King’s Gambit (I Am Invincible), who got very hot in the preliminaries, finished strongly to come home another length and a quarter away in third.
However, the race was not without its drama as Chad Scholfield was dislodged from Annabel Neasham’s previously unbeaten filly Learning To Fly (Justify) at the 400-metre mark and caused interference to the winner’s stablemate Lazzago (Capitalist), leading Kerrin McEvoy to pull the filly up. Both horses walked away from the incident unscathed and Schofield was also reported to have incurred no issues after the fall.
The result was one of mixed emotions for Coolmore’s Tom Magnier, a majority owner of Shinzo and Learning To Fly, who returned lame but seemingly without a major injury scare.
“It’s hard to enjoy the moment,” Magnier said. “I’m just hoping Learning To Fly and Chad Schofield are OK. I feel for Annabel [Neasham].
“But Golden Slippers are so hard to win. This is the race we wanted to win more than any other this year.
“We asked Ryan Moore to come out and ride Shinzo at short notice and what can you say about him? Thank God for Ryan Moore, he is on another level, he is so patient.”
Moore has won Group 1s all over the world, but a victory in the Golden Slipper was not lost on the jockey who now has 170 elite-level wins to his name.
“Growing up the Golden Slipper was always one of the big races that everyone knew around the world,” Moore said. “Maybe times have changed, but it was always the premier race in New South Wales.”
With this Slipper win, Waller has now completed Australia’s ‘grandslam’ having won the Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m), Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) and Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) and the emotion of completing this final piece of the puzzle clearly meant a lot to the trainer.
“I’ve watched more Golden Slippers than anyone my age, from a young age, some from New Zealand, some from Kembla Grange, some from Newcastle, I guess one or two sitting at home,” said Waller.
“I know it’s a big deal. Emotionally, it means a lot to me, simple as that. But I’m not here to prove things to anyone.”
With the victory, Shinzo became the fourth horse to win the Pago Pago Stakes en route to glory in the Slipper, with Stratum (Redoute’s Choice) in 2005 the most recent to complete the double.
Meanwhile, he added a 19th Group 1 winner to Snitzel’s CV and a second Golden Slipper Stakes winner, with the stallion having sired his first when Estijaab landed the coveted Group 1 in 2018, while he is the broodmare sire of the 2014 winner Mossfun (Mossman). Snitzel stood for a fee of $220,000 (inc GST) in 2022.
Shinzo (2 c ex Samaready by More Than Ready), a homebred for Coolmore, is out of the dual Group 1-winning champion Samaready (More Than Ready), whose elite-level victories are spearheaded by her win in the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m). She also finished third in the Golden Slipper in 2012.
Samaready, herself a half-sister to Group 2 winner Night War (General Nediym), was bought by Magnier for $1.8 million at the 2020 edition of the Inglis Chairman’s Sale when carrying Shinzo in utero. The daughter of More Than Ready (Southern Halo) is already the dam of Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m) winner and Group 3 scorer Exhilarates (Snitzel). She missed to Justify (Scat Daddy) in 2021 and was exported to Ireland in February 2022. She is now in the US where she has been covered again by Justify.
Shinzo is one of 32 winners from 35 runners for sons of Snitzel out of More Than Ready mares. They are headed by six stakes winners and this cross fires at a stakes winners to runners strike rate of an impressive 11 per cent.
Lindermann comes of age in Rosehill Guineas
Chris Waller had made no secret of the high regard he holds Lindermann (Lonhro) in and yesterday at Rosehill the colt more than lived up to his trainer’s lofty expectations when he battled bravely to win a thrilling edition of the Rosehill Guineas (Gr 1, 2000m).
The son of Darley’s ever-popular stallion Lonhro (Octagonal) showed he was up to the elite level when finishing second behind Communist (Russian Revolution) in the Randwick Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) earlier in the month, however it was his victory in sightly lesser company in a Benchmark 78 (1400m) under Nash Rawiller the start before which convinced Waller the colt ready to hit the big time.
“Nash woke him up two starts ago when he won over 1400 [metres] here and it has been the making of him,” Waller, who was enjoying his third win in the Group 1 contest, said.
“It really announced him to say you can be put under a bit of pressure and still give at the end. Same in the Randwick Guineas, he had to do all the work and he still ran second.”
After making his way to the front, Lindermann put daylight between himself and his rivals, before the Godolphin-raced Pericles (Street Boss) loomed ominously upside the colt. However, Lindermann refused to back down and was eventually announced the winner after a photo-finish, beating Pericles by a nose. Williamsburg (Snitzel) finished three lengths further back in third.
“He got eye-balled by the favourite with 300 metres to go and he lifted off the canvas,” Waller said. “He has really learned to fight and at the same time matured as a man.
“He showed us a glimpse of ability at Flemington back during Cup week at 1800 [metres] and from that point on we said, ‘we’ll set him for this race’. It doesn’t always come off but it has today.”
Waller is leaning towards dropping Lindermann back in distance for the Doncaster Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) next start, rather than extend him to the 2400 metres of the ATC Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m), but stressed both options remain on the table.
Bred by the Kepitis Family’s Woppitt Bloodstock, Lindermann (3 c Lonhro – Self Esteem by Stratum) is one of two winners out of stakes-placed winning mare Self Esteem (Stratum) and hails from the same family as three-time Group 1 winner Assertive Lad (Zeditave) and his dual Group 1-winning sister Assertive Lass.
In 2020, Self Esteem produced a filly by Nicconi (Bianconi), who is now named Cranberries and is unraced. The following season she foaled a colt by Written Tycoon (Iglesia) and after missing to Yes Yes Yes (Rubick), the mare was covered by Written By (Written Tycoon) last September.
In winning the race, Lindermann became the 13th individual Group 1 winner for Lonhro who stood the 2022 season for a fee of $55,000 (inc GST).