Golden Slipper Contender for Encosta

The Kelly family of Newhaven Park are no strangers to success in Australia’s greatest juvenile race the Golden Slipper and they will go in with a top chance this year after exciting filly English (2f Encosta de Lago  x Court by Anabaa) scored a stylish win in the Group II ATC Reisling Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

Prepared by Gai Waterhouse, English bolted in on debut at Kembla on January 31 and has been taken along quietly since then, tuned up for this assignment with an electric trial win on February 23.

Tackling Black Type for the first time, English made it look easy, settling midfield for Blake Shinn and then tracking Ottoman into the race at just the right time.

She sped to the lead and held off all challengers to win the 1200 metre dash by best part of a length and has now won two out of two with prizemoney just shy of $200,000.

“This is a very special filly,” Waterhouse said. “She’s superbly bred by Encosta De Lago, I can’t fault her.

“Today was her chance of saying,’yes I’m a real live Slipper hope’ and she goes in on her third run, perfect timing.”

Blake Shinn was full of praise for the filly.

“We had the race won I felt at the 250 (metres), so I just tried to look after her as best I could,” he said.

“Super impressive win!”

A homebred for Newhaven Park, English is a half-sister to promising winner Puzzle and is the second foal from dual Group II winning Anabaa (USA) mare Court, who comes from the family of outstanding racehorse and sire Grand Lodge (USA).

English is the 106th stakes-winner for recently retired champion sire Encosta de Lago, whose progeny have won a great many races but never a Golden Slipper.

He’s had place-getters such as Alinghi and Von Costa de Hero, but in English might have the horse that goes one better.

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