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Could Arial Break Gai's Gimcrack Hoodoo?

By Ray Hickson

Gai Waterhouse’s reputation as one of the great trainers of two-year-olds is unquestioned but she surprisingly doesn’t have a Gimcrack Stakes win against her name.

Well named I Am Invincible filly Bold Arial (out of Helvetica) could change all that later this month if her performance at Monday’s official Canterbury two-year-old trials is any guide.

I’m not paying too much attention to the time – 54.54 for the 900m – Bold Arial recorded, it was all about the style and she travelled strongly about fourth, switched into the clear 300m out and despite racing a bit greenly sprinted quickly before easing up.

While a Gimcrack has so far eluded Waterhouse, she knows all about winning the Breeders’ Plate and she and Adrian Bott will likely be represented there by Landon who looked very professional leading all the way in the opening heat.

Bold Arial wins her Canterbury barrier trial - September 18

Another well named youngster (out of Prairie Star), the $320,000 purchase broke quickly to lead, was held together in the middle stages and when asked to kick he found a couple of lengths easily.

Third placed Sokudo deserves a mention, he was squeezed out early on and tailed out some five lengths off the pace but hit the line nicely. He’s a $500,000 colt with Team Snowden.

Godolphin’s Exceed And Excel filly Quaintly won’t want to miss the start as badly as she did in her heat if she lines up in the Gimcrack.

Hard to say exactly how far off them she settled, could have been 10 lengths, but she tacked on by the turn and kept coming to run into third in a very big effort.

Godolphin has won the last three Gimcrack Stakes with Jorda, Calliope and Calaverite.

If any youngster at the two-year-old trials was bred to excel early it’s Satin Slipper, by 2012 Golden Slipper winner Pierro from 2011 Silver Slipper winner Satin Shoes.

Satin Slipper settled nicely in the run a couple of lengths off the lead, chimed in at the 200m and put them away comfortably.

Chris Waller produced a trial winner in Performer, a $450,000 half-brother to Group 1 winner Bel Sprinter, who didn’t break the best and was badly held up in his trial but once clear he stretched out nicely to post a narrow win.

And $500,000 filly Witherspoon always travelled nicely outside the leader in her heat, she hit the lead before being given a small reminder and she went into cruise mode late.

Both the Breeders’ Plate and Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) are run at Randwick on September 30.

Check out the replays from the official two-year-old trials at Canterbury

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