Gerald Ryan has saddled up some strong chances in Golden Slippers but his hopes of finally claiming the world’s richest juvenile race hinge on a filly with a point of difference.
Ryan’s runners have included now-champion sire Snitzel, who was unplaced from a wide draw as favourite in 2005, and Snitzerland, who was runner-up to Pierro nine years ago.
Both were on-speed horses but his representative on Saturday, Widden Stakes winner Mallory, is a backmarker, a trait he hopes can prove a key factor.
“This is probably my only one who I think is a chance and who will race back off the speed,” Ryan said.
“A lot of Slippers have been won by horses back off the speed. She’s drawn a gate so she can travel closer and she will be really strong late.”
Five fillies will line up in the Golden Slipper (1200m) and only one, Four Moves Ahead, is at single-figure odds.
Markets suggest the colts and geldings will dominate this year’s edition but Ryan isn’t so sure.
“They seem to have the wood on the fillies but it has seemed like that in other years and it has been turned around,” he said.
“The other thing too is that now with the way they go about the lead-up races, a lot of these fancied horses will be getting to Rosehill for the first time.
“Four Moves Ahead hasn’t been around here, Profiteer hasn’t been around here, Stay Inside hasn’t been around here, the Blue Diamond winner (Artorius) hasn’t been around here.
“And Rosehill can be tricky. At least we’re on our home track and we’ve won on the Golden Slipper track.”