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Trainer Mick Price is adamant jockey Hugh Bowman needs to produce a "negative split" ride to give favourite Profiteer his chance to win the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The term "negative split" is widely used in athletics and swimming and is a racing strategy that means completing the second half of a race faster than the first.
Profiteer is expected to lead or race right up on the speed in the Golden Slipper but Price said Bowman needs to get the sectionals right on his brilliant colt.
"I will say to Hughie if he gets the first 600m a bit softer than second 600m he will give the horse every chance," Price said.
"If we let Profiteer run, he's too fast and if runs those 10 and a bit (seconds) sectionals he will get mowed down.
"In the Millennium Hughie said he should have been fined for speeding. In a 1100m restricted race you can get away with it but you won't get away with it in the Slipper."
Profiteer did streak away with the Inglis Millennium on a rain-affected track before having a month between runs and losing his unbeaten record to Anamoe in the Todman Stakes two weeks ago.
Price said Profiteer has taken significant improvement from the Todman loss into the Golden Slipper.
"He blew for about 25 minutes after that race but it gave me a measure of his fitness. He will be peaking for the Golden Slipper," the trainer added.
Form guru Gary Crispe of Racing and Sports believes Profiteer is the horse to beat in the big race despite having his colours lowered last start.
Crispe said the "profile horse" going into the Golden Slipper is clearly Profiteer.
"In the last 10 years, nine Golden Slipper winners have come through either the Todman Stakes or the Reisling Stakes – both well established as the premier Slipper trials," Crispe said.
"This year's Reisling fell a long way short of that mark but the Todman was up to standard and so Anamoe and Profiteer, first and second in that race, carry that strong form into the Slipper.
"Another point of interest when looking at recent Slipper winners is that seven of the past 12 had run below their established peak rating their lead up run.
Of the five that peaked and peaked again four were trained by Gai Waterhouse - and Gai plays by her own rules!
"But this is where Profiteer fits the mould. He established his talent with a fast win in the Inglis Millenium before backing off that peak when second in the Todman.
"There he showed that he could control his speed over the 1200m and now he sets himself up for a big peak in a race that his shrewd stable have targeted from a long way out."
Price, who co-trains with Michael Kent Jnr these days, has saddled up some leading contenders for the Golden Slipper over the years including Flying Artie, Extreme Choice and Samaready but that trio all came through the Blue Diamond and could not peak again for the Golden Slipper.
Profiteer has been deliberately aimed at the Golden Slipper, bypassing the Blue Diamond, and that could be the key to Price getting his hands on the Slipper trophy for the first time.
But Crispe has a healthy respect for Blue Diamond winner Artorius who tops the ratings pre-race but faces the task of improving again off a big peak.
Stay Inside has a similar profile to Profiteer, coming off a brilliant win in the Pierro Plate with an unplaced Todman Stakes effort when he raced without luck.
"There are plenty in Stay Inside's corner as he has handled soft going, which must be a plus, and fits the typical profile of recent Slipper winners, but he must sit behind Profiteer based on the Todman Stakes result," Crispe explained.
"The pick of the fillies is Four Moves Ahead and she did do a terrific job to win the Sweet Embrace off a set back, leaving her well poised to improve again.
"The query, other than needing a clear new peak rating, is whether or not the Golden Slipper comes up too quickly for Four Moves Ahead who is having just her third start but she is clearly a talent and deserves more than a cursory glance."
Online article taken from the racenet.