Australia: Waller, Moore win with Shinzo in Golden Slipper

Australia: Waller, Moore win with Shinzo in Golden Slipper
Photo: Australian Turf Club

Trainer Chris Waller had won Australia’s top races for horses 3 and up, but the biggest one for 2-year-olds eluded him until Saturday. 

Most famous for looking after four-time champion mare Winx, Waller gave England riding star Ryan Moore the leg up on Shinzo (15-1), who saved ground from his rail post and won by 1 1/4 lengths in the Group 1, $3,379,500 Golden Slipper, the world’s richest race for 2-year-olds.

“As you know, I get pretty caught up in the emotion of winning races,” Waller told Sky Racing World. “But honestly, there’s so many great races on our calendar every year, and having runners in it is a privilege. I know it’s a big deal, and I respect it.”

With Moore’s left-handed urging in the deep stretch, the Snitzel colt overtook the favorite Cylinder (2-1) in the last 150 yards of the roughly six-furlong race and ran on to his second victory in seven days. Shinzo won the Pago Pago (G3) last weekend over the same course and distance as Saturday’s sprint at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney.

“Tom (Magnier of Coolmore) called me last week at this time and asked if I’d like to come down,” Moore said. “If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here.”

James McDonald, who rode Shinzo’s victory last week, took the ride Saturday on Cylinder, who settled for second after winning a pair of Group 2 races in the past four weeks.

“He ran beautifully,” McDonald said. “He tried hard. Everything worked out beautifully for him. Just the really strong horse overcame him late.”

King’s Gambit (7-1), Don Corleone (8-1) and Empire of Japan (60-1), all trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, finished third, fourth and fifth in that order.

Shinzo’s winning time for the race with one right turn was 1:09.65 without a run-up over the course that was rated good. The race covered 1,200 meters, about 7 1/2 yards short of six furlongs.

“I’m sure he’s not just an out-and-out, six-furlong sprinter,” Moore said. “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 he’ll have a good future.”

Second betting choice Learning to Fly (5-1), a previously undefeated filly who was sired by U.S. Triple Crown winner Justify, blew the start before throwing jockey Chad Schofield when she checked in traffic midway through the race.

“(Schofield) has sustained soft-tissue injuries and is a bit shaken but is otherwise fine after his fall,” Racing New South Wales said in a social-media post. New Zealand racing journalist Jeremy Bullock reported that Schofield had bruises on his arm.

Waller’s collection of Melbourne Spring Carnival Group 1 victories includes four in a row from Winx in the Cox Plate from 2015 to 2018, Verry Elleegant’s victories in the 2020 Caulfield Cup and the 2021 Melbourne Cup and Durston’s October triumph in the 2022 Caulfield Cup.

On the Golden Slipper undercard, 2021-22 division champion Anamoe (4-5) took a wide trip under McDonald, yet the 4-year-old Street Boss colt bred and owned by Godolphin still won the George Ryder (G1) going about 7 1/2 furlongs.

About 45 minutes earlier, Dubai Honour (9-2), a 5-year-old Pride of Dubai gelding, won by 4 1/2 lengths going about 1 1/4 miles in the Ranvet (G1). Moore rode the victory for trainer William Haggas.

Anamoe and Dubai Honour are expected to meet next month in the 1 1/4-mile Queen Elizabeth (G1) during The Championships at Royal Randwick in Sydney.

Coverage of the Golden Slipper Stakes for Horse Racing Nation was made possible through a sponsorship by Sky Racing World.

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