By Brad Gray
At Rosehill Gardens
It was only a field of five in the $250,000 TAB Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) but the Golden Slipper contenders were sorted from the pretenders after Sunlight got the better of a brave Estijaab, with near seven lengths back to Gongs in third.
Estijaab, with Brenton Avdulla steering, flew the gates to lead by a length after a matter of strides but was “driven mad” by Neutrality, with Blake Shinn hunting his colt forward. Punters Intel reveals Estijaab’s 1000-400m sectionals were all sub 11s (10.81, 10.77, 10.99).
Sunlight taking out the Silver Slipper
“I couldn’t see Brenton when I went up and around Blake," Tim Clark said of Sunlight, "But when he asked her filly to go she quickened really well and my filly was out on her feet the last 100m but she has a great will to win."
“She had a lovely run and it panned out well. She is pretty push button. A very sensible filly with good improvement in her. Although the second horse had her excuses, there is not a lot between them considering my filly has probably three lengths there of improvement."
Clark, who drove Santos to victory in last week’s Pierro Plate, revealed that there wouldn’t be much between the pair.
“She has done it a few times and he has to come out and do it again but he has got as much ability as her,” said Clark.
Sunlight will next run in the Magic Night Stakes with the Tony McEvoy yard keen to replicate her Magic Millions preparation, tackling her grand final on a seven day back-up.
“I think we learnt something about her today,” said assistant trainer Calvin McEvoy, “When the other two decided to go out in front, Tim asked her to come back and she did. She raced like a true professional. It was all class.”
“She was forward enough and we knew she’d run well but there is still improvement to come which is why I have a big smile on my face.”