By Ray Hickson
Michael Freedman understands why all the focus on his stable’s Golden Slipper hopes have been on the colt Stay Inside but he’s more than happy to make a case for Glistening to defy the market at least to some extent.
Nine of the last 10 Golden Slipper winners have contested either the Todman or Reisling Stakes, Kiamichi in 2019 is the exception, but Reisling Stakes winner Glistening is a $61 chance with TAB in Saturday’s $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper.
The margin on March 6 was only a narrow one but Freedman said what Glistening has done in her two starts to date shouldn’t be underestimated.
“On face value what Stay Inside has done so far stands out a little bit more but she made all at her second start in a Group 2 and was there to be run down,’’ Freedman said.
“Probably in one more stride she would have been but I don’t think she is one dimensional, I think that was more circumstance than anything."
Glistening will again be partnered by apprentice Jean Van Overmeire who has his second Golden Slipper ride, he partnered See You Soon in last year’s race, and Freedman said he hasn’t seen the filly go backwards since the Reisling, even with the week’s delay.
“She has kept improving into the preparation, she’s feeling really well, she’s not showing any ill effects or of needing the paddock which is what most trainers would be keeping a close eye on,’’ he said.
“I see that as a positive going into Saturday.
“The little query with her, which may end up being a positive, is going onto a soft track. There’s a bit of evidence on the dam side to suggest she will enjoy it and if she does maybe she’s over the odds.”
Stay Inside, $4.60 second favourite with TAB, contested the Todman Stakes three weeks ago and it’s been well documented that he was unlucky in running fourth behind Anamoe and Profiteer.
The scratching of O’President earlier in the week has changed the Slipper shape slightly, given it was expected he’d be part of the on pace picture, but Freedman doesn’t see it as significant.
“It probably puts a slightly different complexion on the race but it doesn’t change greatly how I’d be looking to ride my pair,’’ he said.
“Where they are drawn and how they race kind of dictate that anyway.
“They both seem good, they are nice and bright, and I think they are enjoying the sun on their back.”
There was an enthusiastic response from Stay Inside’s jockey Tommy Berry following the colt's gallop on Tuesday morning and that’s been well received by the Michael and Richard Freedman partnership.
“Tommy was just very happy with how the horse felt underneath when he worked him,’’ Freedman said.
“Whether that’s because he’s had the extra few days or extra week I’m not too sure.”
Meanwhile, Freedman can’t believe consistent three-year-old On The Lead is so despised in the Listed $140,000 Irresistible Pools & Spas Darby Munro Stakes (1200m) at $41 on the back of his last start second to Wild Ruler three weeks ago.
Glistening wins at Randwick on March 6
The colt does have a heavy 8 failure from his previous start at Rosehill but, with an improving track on his side, Freedman isn’t going to pigeonhole him off one run.
“I think he’s always a little overlooked in that grade of race,’’ he said.
“I’m very happy with him, it’s a little frustrating that he’s gone from drawing six last week to 10 this week but the improving track does help him.
“He had 58kg and was out the back last (at Rosehill) and had to try and make a run down the middle which not much did all day.
“I don’t read anything into whether he handled it or not, I think it was more the way the race panned out and the weight. He’s going to need luck but I don’t think that class of race is beyond him.”