History Of The Golden Slipper Stakes

History Of The Golden Slipper Stakes
The Golden Slipper Stakes is a Thoroughbred horse race for two-year-old horses and it runs for 1,200 meters at the Rosehill Gardens Racecouse in Sydney, Australia. It is the highlight two-year-old race in the Australian horse racing calendar and it is also the richest race in the world for two-year-old Thoroughbreds.

This race is usually grouped with other Group 1 races such as the Vinery Stud Stakes, the Queen of the Turf Stakes, The BMW and the George Ryder Stakes in what is widely known as Slipper day. This group of races makes Slipper day one of the biggest horse racing events in Australia and the world. From 2009 and beyond, the race will be held on the first Saturday of April.

Prior to 2008, the race was held on the Saturday before Good Friday to coincide with the Golden Slipper Carnival horse races. In 2008, it was held in mid-April or four weeks after Easter and it carried a prize pool of AUD$ 3,525,800.

The inaugural Golden Slipper Stakes was first held in 1957 and won by Todman of the Star Kingdom stable. Todman was steered by jockey Neville F. Sellwood. After Todman, the next four winners of the Golden Slipper Stakes also came from the Star Kingdom stable. Until now, many Star Kingdom bloodlines can be traced in recent day winners.

In 1961, Magic Night became the first filly to win the Golden Slipper Stakes. Prior to that race, Magic Night was a 15:1 favourite but she won over Young Brogla by a half-length and Commanding by four lengths. Late entries Proud Miss and Pago Pago won the Golden Slipper Stakes of 1962 and 1963 respectively.

In 1966, the photo finish camera figured in the declaration of the winner for the first time in Golden Slipper Stakes history. It looked like as if late entry Academy Star won the race but Storm Queen crossed the finish line first by a head with Very Merry finishing in third place.

In 1979, the photo finish camera helped decide a winner once again and it was found out that Century Miss came from behind and won over Dawn Command by a head.

In 2001, Gai Waterhouse pulled off a remarkable achievement when three of her five competing horses took the top three spots of the race. With jockey Jim Cassidy on board, Ha Ha finished in first place while Excellerator and Red Hannigan finished in second and third place respectively.

A number of races lead-up to the Golden Slipper Stakes. These races include the Magic Night Stakes and the Reisling Slipper Trial for fillies. For colts and geldings, the Todman Slipper Trial and the Pago Pago Stakes are Golden Slipper lead-up races.

Trainer T.J. Smith is the most successful trainer in Golden Slipper Stakes history for he has won six races by training Fairy Walk (1971), Johns Hope (1972), Hartshill (1974), Toy Show (1975), Bounding Away (1986) and Star Watch (1988).

After T.J. Smith, J.B. Bart Cummings, Clarry E. Conners and Lee Freedman have each won four Golden Slipper Stakes apiece. Cummings won with Storm Queen (1966), Tontonan (1973), Vivarchi (1976) and Century Miss (1979). Meanwhile, Conners won the Golden Slipper with Tierce (1991), Burst (1992), Prowl (1998) and Belle du Jour (2000). Freedman took his Golden Slipper Stakes victories with Bint Marscay (1993), Danzero (1994), Flying Spur (1995) and Merlene (1996).

As for the jockeys, Ron Quinton and Shane Dye have the most number of Golden Slipper wins with four apiece while Mick Dittman, Kevin Langby and Athol Mulley have three apiece. Dye dominated the race from 1989 to 1992 by winning aboard Courtza, Canny Lad, Tierce and Burst respectively. Meanwhile, Quinton won with Marscay (1982), Sir Dapper (1983), Rorys Jester (1985) and Marauding (1987).

The Blue Diamond Stakes Article written by Peter Johnson the author and editor of horse racing news at HorseRacingOffers.com.au

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