Five Things We Learned from the Golden Slipper

Tara Madgwick - Monday March 26
It's still the richest juvenile race in the world and has a profound influence over the Australian breeding industry so what did we take from the 2018 Group I ATC Golden Slipper.

1/ Snitzel the Super Sire. He sired the dam of the 2014 Golden Slipper winner Mossfun and this year got the winner Estijaab in his own right capping a remarkable season that will see the Arrowfield Stud based son of Redoute's Choice break all previous seasonal prizemoney records by light years, his current total an astonishing $21.8 million.

Ironically, Snitzel was not the champion first season sire of his generation with that honour afforded another Redoute's Choice son in Stratum, who sired a Golden Slipper winner in his very first crop in Crystal Lily.

Turning 16 this year, Snitzel is at the height of his powers in the sale ring and on the track. For the record he ran 12th in the Golden Slipper of his year won by Stratum, so if your colt finished down the track this year, take heart.

2/ Expensive Yearlings. Estijaab is flying the flag for the top end of town showing that sometimes expensive yearlings really are worth the money.

A $1.7 million Inglis Easter Yearling purchase, she is the equal fifth most expensive yearling sired by Snitzel and is his second dearest filly. 

Parallels can be drawn between Estijaab and the Hawkes trained filly Forensics, who won the Golden Slipper for them in 2007 carrying the cerise of the Ingham family. She was the most expensive yearling at that time sired by Flying Spur having been bought for $900,000 at Inglis Easter by Woodlands Stud from the Arrowfield Stud draft.

3/ Team Hawkes. Winning the Golden Slipper is not about luck, it's about skill, planning and the ability to identify a natural two year-old and then train it accordingly.

The reality is that certain trainers are better at it than others and Team Hawkes are among the best, John Hawkes winning with Guineas and Forensics and his training partnership with sons Michael and Wayne successful with Mossfun and now Estijaab.

4/ Best Colt. Blue Diamond winner Written By was a close up fourth and the first colt home this year chasing Estijaab and two other top class fillies in Oohood (Australia's best maiden, read about here here) and Sunlight.

Champion sire Fastnet Rock was fourth in a red hot Slipper won by Dance Hero with Charge Forward second and Alinghi third, so there is no disgrace in being beaten by the best.

5/ Sweet Revenge. Charge Forward wasn't quite good enough to win his Slipper, but he was the first colt home and has gained redemption as the sire of the dam of Estijaab and also last year's winner She Will Reign, not to mention this year's third place-getter Sunlight.

That's probably not a fluke, Charge Forward was a fast precocious sprinter with a diverse pedigree free of Danehill blood. He's an electric presence in a pedigree and his daughters will now be valued highly if they weren't already.

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