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Begg Hoping The Slipper Is Childs Play

By Ray Hickson

Trainer Grahame Begg is backing the talent and composure of rising star hoop Jordan Childs to get the job done on unbeaten colt Written By in Saturday’s $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m).

Trainer Grahame Begg. (Pic: Steve Hart)

Just as he’s done on four occasions to date.

Childs proved himself at the top level in the Blue Diamond last month and while the pressure of a Golden Slipper is a new level Begg has the utmost confidence in the 22-year-old.

“I think he’s far ahead of his years as far as his ability and how he handles himself on and off the track,’’ Begg said.

“He has great poise and great confidence. The occasion won’t get to him.

“He’s had a good foundation being Greg Childs’ son and being apprenticed to Patrick Payne so he’s been well rounded.’’

Greg Childs, of course, was the regular rider of champion Sunline so it’s a little ironic that his son’s biggest threat is a horse called Sunlight.

Jordan only secured the ride on Written By at his debut back in December when Brad Rawiller sought a release to start a suspension early – and the rest is history.

Begg said Written By has come through his win in the Pago Pago Stakes, where Punters Intel data showed he ran a 34.18 last 600m, in excellent shape in what was basically his first serious hitout since winning the Blue Diamond.

From a historical perspective, the last Blue Diamond winner to take out the Slipper was Sepoy in 2011 while it’s been 13 years since Stratum completed the Pago Pago-Slipper double.

“Our job is to get the horse to peak twice in a month, that’s not going to be an easy feat,’’ Begg said.

“Win lose or draw the horse has done a marvellous job. He’s very resilient, he never takes his head out of the feed bin.

“Up until now he just gets the job done. He gets into a really nice rhythm and he has the ability to absorb some pressure and kick again.

“Trying to find flaws in the horse is difficult at this point of time.’’

Written By wins the Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill on March 17

The prospect of a heavy track does concern Begg to a degree though Written By’s debut win was on heavy ground at Sandown.

Written By jumps from barrier four, which suits Begg just fine, and was $4.80 second favourite with TAB on Wednesday behind Sunlight ($4.20)

“Even when he won on the heavy track I didn’t know if he’d handle it,’’ he said.

“What we’ve seen at home he can certainly let down better on top of the ground there’s no doubt about that.

“Slippers are always high pressure races and it’s so important around the 1200m at Rosehill. He doesn’t have to lead to be able to win. He has good gate speed and can absorb a bit of pressure.’’

There’s plenty of Slipper history surrounding Begg and Written By - his last Slipper runner was Written By’s sire Written Tycoon, who was unplaced in 2005, while Begg’s father Neville prepared 1980 Slipper winner Dark Eclipse.

Check out the fields, form and replays for Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens

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