Sebring’s victory in Saturday’s Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper gave trainer Gai Waterhouse her third success in the world’s richest two-year-old event.
Gai Waterhouse has claimed now claimed the Golden Slipper three times, Sebring today, in 2001 with filly Ha Ha and in 2004 with the recently retired Dance Hero who led the field out today.
There were some nervous moments in the Gai Waterhouse camp after the More Than Ready colt missed the start, lost his footing and faced traffic in the straight and was involved in a close photo finish with David Hayes trained Von Costa De Hero.
Gai Waterhouse was confident she’d claimed her third Golden Slipper when he hit the line.
“I knew he’d won,” Gai Waterhouse said. “He made up ground so brilliantly. He lost his footing at the top of the straight, then all of a sudden he balanced himself and he exploded up the straight. It was the most exciting thing, I don’t think I’ve been so excited watching races in years.”
Sebring had been tagged by Gai Waterhouse as her best Golden Slipper chance weeks prior to the event and according to Waterhouse, confirmed why with today’s victory.
“This is the event I want to win most each year. This stamps him as Australia’s leading two-year-old and I think he could go anywhere in the world. This is a really, really good horse. He’s been unbeaten in all of his starts.”
“He’s also a great example and it’s lovely to see the ‘everyman’ can have a horse in Australia.”
Gai Waterhouse was commended for her skills as a trainer and her Tulloch Lodge by Denise Martin of Star Thoroughbreds who purchased Sebring at the yearling sales last Easter.
“All the credit of today’s success goes to Gai and her team,” Denise Martin said. “There a wonderful team of people. They knew Sebring was a special colt about three months ago, Blake Shinn identified him.”
David Hayes was well represented in this years Golden Slipper with four starters. His top pick amongst his four runners was All American who finished fifth and was upstaged by stablemate Von Costa De Hero who ran a gallant second after being wide throughout.
Extract from Racing and Sports