Gai Waterhouse sets sights on seventh Golden Slipper after Scarlet Rain wins Sweet Embrace Stakes
GAI Waterhouse burst into a rendition of “Oh, dem Golden Slippers” after Scarlet Rain confirmed her place in the world’s richest juvenile race with a brilliant speed display at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
As a singer, racing’s first lady makes a very good racehorse trainer, a great one in fact, and she now has designs on a record seventh Golden Slipper triumph with unbeaten Scarlet Rain.
“What has Scarlet Rain done wrong?’’ Waterhouse said. “How could they doubt this filly, how could they doubt the trainer?
Kathy O’Hara dashes clear on Scarlet Rain on Saturday. Picture: Simon Bullard
“All I know is this filly keeps winning races — that’s three from three.
“When she gets put under a bit of pressure, she has this lovely explosion of pace.
“I told Kathy O’Hara she will cruise along in front with her funny, little action and then dash away and that is exactly what happened.’’
Scarlet Rain scored her third win from as many starts as she led throughout to win the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m).
O’Hara controlled the tempo upfront on Scarlet Rain ($4.40 equal favourite) who comfortably held off the other equal favourite In The Vanguard to score by a length with Tale Of Choice ($16) nearly two lengths away third.
Scarlet Rain did run slower time than Good Standing in the colts and geldings division (Skyline Stakes) earlier in the day but as O’Hara said the filly was always cruising in the lead.
“She began well and got to front pretty easily early,’’ O’Hara said. “Then she came back nicely underneath me and it didn’t bother her at all that other horses were outside and eyeballing her. When I asked her to go, she let down brilliantly and was very strong to the line. I was very proud of her.’’
Waterhouse then asked O’Hara: “What size Slipper, Kathy?”
O’Hara replied: “The Golden ones!”
This drew raucous laughter from Scarlet Rain’s band of owners, which numbered 16 on Saturday.
“But I think there is about 30 ‘owners’ here,’’ said Scott Darby, of Darby Bloodstock, who purchased the filly for $100,000 as a yearling. “This is our very first horse with Gai and she is in the Golden Slipper now.’’
Waterhouse has withdrawn Scarlet Rain from a couple of races recently but maintains it is all about having the filly peak for the Golden Slipper on March 19.
“There was just little things that didn’t quite fall into place for her,’’ Waterhouse said. “It was the same with Vancouver last year — I decided not to run her and wait for this race.
“You have got to read your horse, particularly with the ebb and flow of two-year-olds. She will go straight into the Golden Slipper.’’