Golden Slipper Triumph for Coolmore
The $5million Group I ATC Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday proved a history making race for Coolmore with champion trainer Chris Waller collecting his very first Golden Slipper trophy with Coolmore homebred colt Shinzo (2c Snitzel x Samaready, More Than Ready) trained to the minute.
A maiden coming into the Group III ATC Pago Pago Stakes last Saturday, Shinzo turned in a game changing performance to zoom home from last and win, securing his place in the Golden Slipper field.
With many other key runners trying to hold on to career best form, Shinzo was just arriving at his peak and we saw it today.
Undefeated filly Learning to Fly (2f Justify x Ennis Hill, by Fastnet Rock) was slow to begin and was back running third last until she clipped heals and lost her rider Chad Scofield (both horse and rider emerged unscathed), so she was out of pay early with colts going on to fight out the finish.
Shinzo enjoyed a good run in transit on the fence from gate one under Ryan Moore and powered to the line to beat the Godolphin homebred and race favourite Cylinder by more than a length.
"We knew we had a Group 1 horse, we just didn't know what distance and our team backed ourselves to know we could get speed into him because he'd just learned to race,'' Waller said.
"Today, fourth-up after a confidence-boosting win last week, he knew exactly what to do. He's a very good colt and I appreciate the owners for trusting me, not just with him but with a lot of other good horses, young bull horses.
“I guess that takes things to a different level of pressure, they need results, and they chose me to try to find a Group I Golden Slipper winner and we've managed to do it for them."
Coolmore and partners purchase a significant number of colts every year at the yearling sales and have tasted success with dual Group I winner Home Affairs, but Shinzo is a homegrown product, foaled, raised and educated at the Jerry’s Plains headquarters.
"It's hard to enjoy the moment,'' Magnier said after the win.
"I'm just hoping Learning To Fly and Chad Schofield are OK. I feel for Annabel (Neasham, trainer).
"But Golden Slippers are so hard to win. This is the race we wanted to win more than any other this year.
"We asked Ryan Moore to come out and ride Shinzo at short notice and what can you say about him.
"Thank God for Ryan Moore, he is on another level, he is so patient. I have to make mention of Chris Waller, he has had so much faith in this colt. He kept us believing.
"We have finally won the Golden Slipper, but I just want to make sure ‘Fly' and Chad are OK.''
Ryan Moore won earlier in the day taking the Group I ATC Ranvet Stakes on UK raider Dubai Honour and made it a Group I double on Shinzo.
"Tom (Magnier from Coolmore) called me last week at this time and asked if I'd like to come down. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be here,'' Moore said.
"Shinzo won well last week, he's a very talented colt, he's got a super attitude. Lovely big strong long striding horse.
"I'm sure he's going to be better when he goes up in trip. We were lucky we got a nice draw, was able to follow Cylinder through and it all just went beautifully for us. It all worked out.
"I'm sure he's not just an out and out six furlong (1200m) sprinter. I'm sure he's going to be more comfortable when he gets over more ground. It feels like he's improving and he'll continue to improve and all being well he'll have a good future."
With two wins and two placings from four starts earning $3million, Shinzo is the 19th Group I winner for champion sire Snitzel and is his second Golden Slipper winner following Estijaab, who won in 2018.
He is a full brother to his Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Exhilarates, who is ironically owned by Darley, so the defeat of Cylinder would have been somewhat softened by knowing they have a full sister to the winner at home in the paddock.
Shinzo was foaled and raised at Coolmore and is the second winner from dual Group I winning More Than Ready mare Samaready, who was bought by Tom Magnier in 2020 for $1.8million at the Inglis Chairman's Sale when she was carrying him in utero.
Samaready missed in two subsequent seasons and was sent back to Ireland last year, but whatever her future holds, she’s done her job and then some!