Victorian trainer Danny O’Brien is full of confidence going into Saturday’s $3.5million Group 1-AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens with his talented colt Running Tall.
The youngster was a runaway winner of the Group 2-VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington at his latest appearance and, according to O’Brien, his colt will be primed for Slipper day.
“He’s a lovely colt and has improved again from the Sires going into the Slipper,” O’Brien said this morning. “I am very pleased with him and we are full of confidence.”
When informed Running Tall had firmed from $61 to $35 in the betting market, O’Brien replied: “I tend to think he is still over the odds at $35. He did win a Group 2 race convincingly last time and was completely dominant. It was a very emphatic victory.”
Running Tall, to be partnered by Melbourne rider Ben Melham, has drawn barrier eight and O’Brien has no problem with that gate: “We’re happy with the barrier.
“He will camp just off the speed and be ready to pounce once they turn for home. He’s going into the Slipper in the best shape of his career and will run a mighty race, I’m sure.”
Running Tall, by 2005 Golden Slipper winner Stratum, was a $500,000 purchase and has already returned nearly half that outlay with $238,000 in prizemoney.
Blue Diamond winner Sepoy holds Golden Slipper favouritism at $3.20 ahead of the heavily-backed Smart Missile ($4.60) with Foxwedge ($9) the only other competitor under double-figure odds. Satin Shoes and Elite Falls ($11) head the remainder.
Bart Cummings’s colt Salade, a winner at his only raceday appearance, has remained steady at $13 despite drawing awkwardly in barrier 12.