Scarlet Rain maintained her unbeaten record in style at Randwick on Saturday. Picture: Jenny Evans
COULD unbeaten filly Scarlet Rain be Gai Waterhouse’s seventh Golden Slipper winner?
That’s where the flashy chestnut is headed after she overcame a setback midweek to demolish her rivals at Randwick on Saturday.
And in the process she earned a rap from Waterhouse who compared the filly to her former topliner Sweet Idea.
“She has the most wonderfully efficient action, just skips over the ground, and it doesn’t matter if it’s dry or wet,’’ Waterhouse said. “She’s a very talented filly who reminds me a lot of Sweet Idea. Oh she’s going to the Slipper, you don’t have to worry about that. Just watch, you’ll see.’’
Sweet Idea was a Group 1-placed, multiple stakes winner who was placed in both the Magic Millions and Golden Slipper in 2013.
The winner of the Slipper that year was the Waterhouse-trained Overreach, while Vancouver handed the trainer her sixth win last year.
With two wins from as many starts, Scarlet Rain is basically qualified for the Slipper, run at Rosehill on March 19, with more than $115,000 in prizemoney already.
Scarlet Rain ($2.90 favourite) held a comfortable 1¼-length margin over Twist Tops ($5) who chased her all the way with the eye-catching Prized Icon ($4.40) charging into third.
Gai Waterhouse says Scarlet Rain reminds her of former top mare Sweet Idea. Picture: Jenny Evans
It was a dramatic week for connections of the filly, though, after she was scratched from Randwick a week earlier and then sustained an abrasion to a knee.
The filly passed a vet check on arrival at the track and showed the trademark Waterhouse toughness and precocity, impressing racing’s first lady with her versatility in handling the heavy conditions.
“Last week, I didn’t think she was her normal bright self and I’d give her another week,’’ Waterhouse said. “The track was affected last week too and it didn’t worry her one iota.
“She’s in the Golden Slipper now, she’s an absolute natural and does it with ease.’’
Scarlet Rain is a $26 chance with TAB Fixed Odds for the Golden Slipper with Magic Millions winner Capitalist a dominant favourite at $3.50.
Expect Waterhouse to pick out a stakes race for Scarlet Rain in the coming weeks and don’t be surprised if it is the Group 2 Silver Slipper at Rosehill on February 20, a race Sweet Idea won three years ago.
The heavily backed Snow Surrender ($7 to $4.60) was matching it with Scarlet Rain in the first 200m but was the first horse beaten.
Tim Clark was impressed by Scarlet rain’s win on Saturday. Picture: Jenny Evans
Jockey Tim Clark said he was always confident of victory after Scarlet Rain found the lead so easily. He said the filly had a good blow after the race suggesting there was still improvement in her.
“She’s a push button two-year-old, typical Gai two-year-old — jump, run, kick and win,’’ Clark said. “I can’t see why she can’t train on and be competitive in the Slipper lead ups.
“There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge but you’d be silly not to have a crack.’’
Of the beaten brigade, Prized Icon earned himself favouritism for the Inglis Classic (1200m) at Randwick in two weeks with his fast-finishing third after being off the bridle on the home turn.
The heavily backed Snow Surrender ($7 in to $4.60) was matching it with Scarlet Rain in the first 200m but was the first horse beaten.
Rosehill, March 19
$15 Calliope, Defcon, Extreme Choice
$26 Scarlet Rain, So Serene, Souchez, Star Turn, Thyme For Roses, Yankee Rose