Godolphin has unearthed a belated contender in its bid for back-to-back Golden Slippers with filly Thermosphere landing an upset win in the Magic Night Stakes.
While head trainer James Cummings has stopped short of committing the filly to a Slipper start, he says Saturday’s win has given the team something to think about.
Godolphin produced the trifecta in the Slipper 12 months ago led by Kiamichi, who also took out the Magic Night Stakes en route.
“I think we will enjoy the win before we get too carried away deciding that because we’ve still got time up our sleeve,” Cummings said.
“Kiamichi won on a rain-affected seven days out last year and that proved to be vital on a day that was completely bottomless.
“That was a good day for Godolphin and hopefully it will be a good day next week.
“We will do the right thing by her. If she’s absolutely bouncing and ready to have a crack then we will do the sporting thing by her and give her a chance.”
Ridden by James McDonald, who won the 2015 Golden Rose on the filly’s sire Exosphere, Thermosphere ($19) settled midfield and emerged from the pack to nab Time Is Precious ($8) and Jemms ($91) in a three-way finish.
It was the Godolphin youngster’s second win after breaking her maiden at Newcastle last start and she provided Exosphere with his first Group winner.
“She fell out of the gates last start to win at Newcastle and she had a little bit of form around the winner of the Pago Pago (Prague),” Cummings said.
“This is a classy filly and she’s got the right credentials, she’s got an excellent temperament.”
Gerald Ryan was rapt with the effort of Time Is Precious after also having to settle for second in the Pago Pago with Kumasi.
He believes the runner-up is underrated and while she is unlikely to earn a Slipper start, she might yet make an autumn carnival impact.
“Time Is Precious is on the borderline for the Golden Slipper and if she gets a run she will back up next week. If she doesn’t then she will go to the Percy Sykes,” Ryan said.
Bookmakers reacted to Thermosphere’s win, the filly firming from $301 into $26 in TAB’s Golden Slipper markets.