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Form expert Gary Crispe believes there's a chance the Golden Slipper winner hasn't already raced despite statistics suggesting it is extremely difficult to win the $3.5 million race without a start before mid-February.
The Australian Turf Club yesterday released second nominations for the richest two-year-old race in the world, with 196 still in the hunt.
Only eight horses in the past 30 years have been able to win the Golden Slipper having their first start after Christmas, including Sebring (2008), Forensics (2007), Miss Finland (2006), Stratum (2005), Bint Marscay (1993), Courtza (1989), Star Watch (1988) and Bounding Away (1986). Of those winners, Forensics (February 9), Stratum (February 12) and Bint Marscay (February 27) were able to debut in February, less than two months before the race, and still win.
Gaining a start in the final field of 16 for the Golden Slipper is extremely difficult and worked out by prizemoney earned. There are also seven races exempt from ballot and provide automatic entry, starting with the Silver Slipper Stakes on March 2. Only 66 of the 196 entered have won prizemoney, showing many are yet to even get to the races.
Crispe, who is Australia's Timeform representative, believes the current crop of two-year-olds aren't as good as the previous generation, given the ratings they have produced this season.
"Miracles Of Life is the benchmark two-year-old on my figures with a rating of 113,'' he said.
"That is well below what it takes to win a Golden Slipper, looking at previous years. They generally rate around 118 or 119, which is a fair jump from what we have seen.
"Last year we had a number of horses who were already rating 115 or 116 including Samaready, No Looking Back and Driefontein.
"Pierro rated 110 with his Breeders Plate win and then jumped up with his Silver Slipper and Todman Stakes victories. We may not have seen the Golden Slipper winner yet, even though history says it is very hard to leave it this late to debut and still win.''
The TAB is due to open betting for the Golden Slipper on Friday with Miracles Of Life and Villa Verde expected to be at the head of the market. Betting for the Blue Diamond Stakes is expected to take further shape on Saturday with the running of the Prelude at Caulfield.
Sydney filly Guelph, who was impressive winning first-up at Warwick Farm, opened $1.50 with the TAB yesterday to win the fillies division while Darley stablemate Kuroshio is the slight $3 favourite in the colts and geldings division over Dissident at $3.30.
GOLDEN SLIPPER WINNERS
Past 30 years having first start after Christmas
2008 Sebring (January 19)
2007 Forensics (February 9)
2006 Miss Finland (January 6)
2005 Stratum (February 12)
1993 Bint Marscay (February 27)
1989 Courtza (January 28)
1988 Star Watch (January 1)
1986 Bounding Away (January 25)
Article taken from The Daily Telegraph, published on Thursday, 7th February 2013, Author, Brent Zerafa, Page 65.