Jockey Georgina Cartwright rode ‘Royal Hale’ to victory at Doomben despite being swooped by a magpie. The magpie coming off second best and Cartwright didn’t flinch as she focused on the home straight.
She Will Reign just fits the criteria of the ideal two-year-old. She has speed, precociousness, a turn of foot, the looks, and the form on the board.
But will the Golden Slipper fit her? My answer to that is no.
The Gary Portelli-trained filly will resume this Saturday in the Silver Slipper (1100m) at Rosehill, and she really should put them away based on what she has done on race day and what she did in a recent trial win, where she ran nearly two seconds quicker than group one winner English. That’s all well and good, but we have seen on so many occasions that the different beast that is the 1200 metres of the high-pressure Golden Slipper bring speed horses undone.
You don’t have to look back far to see that when speed horses are extended out of their comfort zone for the first time, they fail. Case in point being Winning Rupert. He was touted as a future group one winner and the next big thing in Australian racing behind Winx. That was off the back of three wins against nothing on fast tracks.
His big test was the Magic Millions Guineas over 1400 metres – the first time against the big boys and girls and at 1400 metre race. He had every chance in the run and didn’t see it out. Later he was found to have had a bone chip, but that can’t be used as an excuse because many horses can win with that – for example, Winx in the Doncaster. He is now at stud having achieved a great deal.
She Will Reign will face six rivals, five of which look a level or two below. The two threats to her form-wise are Veranillo and Khan. Veranillo is two from two, but has beaten nothing, whereas Team Snowden has stated openly that Khan is nowhere near ready to perform first up. Based on this, it should be a walk in the park for She Will Reign. She should bolt in, and then her current price of $6 for the Golden Slipper will probably trim down to $4.50, or even shorter depending on the margin and the ease.
If that is the case, then at this stage of betting before the Golden Slipper that makes her a better proposition for the race than Pierro, Overreach and Sebring – yet she is not as good as any from that trio.
The big issue, though, is 1200 metres. Will she run it out strongly?
The Golden Slipper is one of the most brutal 1200-metre races in the world given the big field, the history and the pressure associated with it. She Will Reign is yet to have pressure applied to her and is yet to be given full rein, so there could be enough underneath the hood.
But speed doesn’t necessarily mean you have the Slipper. The same thing was said about the likes of Headwater, Earthquake and Samaready, to name a few.
She may win the Golden Slipper, but in terms of a betting proposition, I am happy to look elsewhere. She can win without me.