Almanac Racing: ELVIS’ CINDERELLA DREAM…will the shoe fit?

Our society’s adaptation of the Golden Slipper tale is most widely known as Cinderella, in which a most unlikely, improperly disregarded individual finds wealth, true happiness, blah, blah.

Since its inception in 1957 with Todman’s triumph, George Ryder’s brainchild for the STC’s Slipper “enchantment” has become the richest juveniles’ race in the world. It has a unique aura and a glittering honour roll but, in a sense, has become a victim of its own success. Tycoons scour the stud books, scurrying winners to the breeding barn lest failure tarnish the gold  –  genuine “rags-to-riches” stories are becoming harder to find in the “Sport of Kings”. No wonder the masses embraced veterans like Takeover Target and, long beforehand, Vo Rogue as they plotted an unconventional course in to racing’s folklore. It’s an industry driven by money, so greed and self-interest are always close-by. Singo recognized this dangerous “distancing” in 2000, promising free beer for an hour in the public bars if his filly, Belle Du Jour, won. She scored an impossible, dramatic victory and he was true to his word, except that the beer remained on until stumps, and the crowd took him to heart in amazing scenes.

The road to this year’s event has been typically chequered. For a time the media and punters had their darling when Karuta Queen stamped her brilliance by winning the Magic Millions. Defeat in the Black Opal caused eyes to be cast elsewhere and most of them settled on Victoria’s wonder colt, Sepoy, who emphatically swept the Diamond series and headed over the Murray as a red hot favourite. But his clockwise defeat on a wet track has caused jitters with unsettled weather again threatening. For mine, he remains the one to beat. His Caulfield triumph was electric and I can’t believe they’d risk him if he was not tip-top. But as a fable metaphor, his feat for the Sheikh’s breeding empire is hardly in the spirit of the Grimm Brothers. So I’m letting the heart rule this time. My buddy Elvis, now working on Groote Eyelandt, is a breeding expert, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of racing, and is a “victim” of the punt. He, as they say, “finds new ways”. He’s also a Group One bloke who continues to dream. He speculates relentlessly…a more unexpected yet ironically perfect Cinderella could not be envisaged.

So here’s my Slipper hope this week, conveyed through these comments on our blog during the week:

Elvis Says:
March 28th, 2011 at 7:07 pm


You told me once “All in = heartbreak” Well I didn’t listen. Picked out 2 to back in the Golden Slipper pre post last Wednesday night. Had $10 e/w the unraced Salate at $251 and $10 e/w Altar at $301. They won the Pago Pago and the Magic Night on Saturday and are both in the GS at about $13 and $26 respectively.

I’m a freak until Saturday arvo.

Backed Galizani to win the BMW at $126 and she won also.

Still a big mountain to climb, but in an off pay week, I’ve got a couple of live ones (unlike Our Aqaleem -2010 Aust Cup) going around for me on Saturday.

Will let you know on Saturday if there is indeed a God or not.

Punters also have four other Group Ones to dissect on a typically excellent programme for this showpiece populist Sydney raceday. No doubt upsets will occur but, on paper, there look to be some pretty justifiable favourites to anchor exotics.

The first Gr1 will feature More Joyous in the appropriately named Queen of the Turf Stakes. She is that and will thrill the parochial cockroaches and give Gai a platform for Ch9 to cherish. Great mare.

Brazilian Pulse looks a good thing in the Vinery and, on his last run, it’s impossible to tip against Reprieve in the Tulloch, the day’s solitary Group Two event.

In the George Ryder Stakes it is tough to go past Aloha, who has just kept on rising to the mark. No value, but on his last win I could not recommend another.

The BMW reinforces the dearth of quality WFA middle-distance / stayers we have and this race is marginally worthy of its status in recent times. It is time for Maluckyday to step in to the breech and establish himself as a bona fide star. Racing needs a quality stayer and this bloke might be the one. Descarado and Linton will certainly be strong opponents.

Watching Sydney races promises to be the highlight of my working day at Moonee Valley on Saturday where, not surprisingly, the meeting is pretty humdrum. Quaddy suggestions for a really difficult day are 1,2,5,6/3,4,10/6,9,11/1,5,11.

Enjoy Slipper Day…it’s an amazing success story for Sydney and Australian racing.

Fairytales can and have come true. Here’s hoping there is a God! Good luck.


  1. Peter Flynn says

    The Tancred Stakes only occasionally lives up to Gr1 status.

    It’s a Gr2 for mein kampf (an old Con Marasco gag).

    Go Elvis.

  2. Crio,

    Fantasic, wonderfully written post hung on a “Cinderella Story” theme. Thanks for the kind words, but not so much the pressure. It’s not entirely about the return, which would be great but won’t keep me in smokes for longer than a couple of months, but about thinking you might be pretty smart, pleased with yourself.

    That is until one of the other 14 “Ugly Sisters” lobs and brings you crashing back to the reality that this is an ending other people celebrate. Not you.

    I haven’t looked at any program other than Rosehill and after 8 or 10 Sav Blancs came up with:

    The First: Bikini Star is a well bred filly by Starcraft from the Eight Carat (ish) Denise’s Joy family who pulled hard last start. Blinkers first time and is in the hands of Black Bart

    Tulloch Stakes: Muirfield. Very stoutly bred, Moroney stable, who I think have an opinion of him and ran a great race at Moonee Valley last start. I will be backing him to win the Derby also, the same race his sire Don Eduardo won. Currently at $23, be better at Randwick and if he wins or runs a great race around the tighter Rosehill, you will be feeling good about yourself.

    The Slipper: Outside the two specs I’ve got, I think Masthead might be better than his last run. His Blue Diamond effort was enormous and I think he deserves some forgiveness for his last start failure.

    The Queens Cup: In a race where they’ve got Luen Yat Forever (you can win a Group race with a name like that, how?) I will be backing Shadow Minister each way. She doesn’t win out of turn, but something appeals.

    Finally, there is a horse called Costello running in the last at Awapuni tomorrow, 10 minutes before the Slipper. I will back it just to see if the Great Man is tuned in.

    Great luck.

  3. Elvis,
    On your advice I backed Muirfield in the Valley race. Let’s sing the encore together … “Desperately unlucky!”.
    Guess I’ll send my money around again.
    Do You Think was a massive win at only start and will be a big watch in R1.
    A saver and multi-value for you in the Slipper is Fast and Sexy which, at 100/1, has had its case presented in The Age by Andrew Eddy.
    Please explain how after all your breeding and form analysis you can tip a horse with – “something appeals” (Shadow Minister)?

  4. Crio,

    I will try Fast And Sexy on your advice, but please, was Bob Ingham thinking about one of his chickens when he named her. Sick.

    Regarding Shadow Minister, it is a pedigree + gut thing. Her sire has a pretty good winner to runner strike rate and her fourth dam is by Todman who won the inaugural Slipper in 1957 (as you know) from a sister to Tolerance who won the first running of the Blue Diamond in 1971. Throw Zabeel into the mix and you’ve got something appealing.

    Pedigree and omen.

    I’m writing a book on it. I’ll send you a draft.

  5. Track condition for Rosehill?

    Any fans for Love Conquers All in the George Ryder or is the barrier too tough?

Leave a Comment