PROGENY of super sire More Than Ready account for almost one third of the final field for the world’s richest two-year-old race including the $2.40 favourite Samaready who is striving to become only the second filly to win the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper Stakes.
Joining her in Saturday’s $3.55m feature are the John O’Shea trained colts Faustus and Askohan as well as Tulloch Lodge flag bearers Raceway and Later Gator all of which are bred on the remarkable More Than Ready/Flying Spur cross.
Samaready remains the popular pick with punters after drawing gate 11 in today’s official barrier draw while others in the group didn’t fare as well, Faustus (13) and Ashokan (14) will need luck from their wide alleys; the Gai Waterhosue duo Raceway and Later Gator will also pair up before the jump in barriers 9 and 10 respectively.
Samaready was the fifth name drawn, and representative Greg Perry came up with gate 11.
Vinery general manger Peter Orton has returned from the World Cup meeting in Dubai to cheer on Samaready on Saturday.
”She has the ability, temperament and style to win a Slipper,” he told Newcastle Herald. ”She is unbeaten and has won in Melbourne and Sydney.”
Caulfield trainer Mick Price said he was ”OK” with gate 11.
”She should be able to stay out of trouble there,” Price said.
”She’s going to have six to eight horses in front of her and should be able to get into a nice position.
”My hopes were that she would draw anywhere between five and 12 so I’m pretty happy.”
That Samaready, the winner of the group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne, races under the Vinery banner is thanks to an eye for a horse.
Samaready was bred by businessman Gerry Harvey, who put his Secret Savings mare Samar to Vinery’s star stallion More Than Ready, which has already sired two Golden Slipper winners in Sebring (2008) and Phelan Ready (2009).
Samaready was to be sold at the Magic Millions yearling sales on the Gold Coast but had to be withdrawn when she cut her leg.
”I had my eyes on her because she is by our sire More Than Ready, and even as a yearling she was a looker,” Orton said.
When Samaready made it to the ring at the Sydney Easter sales three months later, Orton moved in and picked her up for what he considered a bargain at $150,000.
She has since won more than $900,000 in four wins from four starts.
Vinery Stud now races Samaready in partnership with Greenwich Stud, Echo Beach Bloodstock, Newstead and Encompass Bloodstock.
”We buy fillies to enhance our broodmare brand but also to race,” Orton said.
”The Golden Slipper is the race that makes stallions, but also for a broodmare it is a career-making win.
”If she was to win on Saturday, well then she would be priceless.
”We have had horses with Mick for many years and had a lot of luck with him.
”Mick is happy and our jockey Froggy [Craig] Newitt has her home already. He won’t hear of her getting beaten.”