Setsuna sets the pace for crack at Golden Slipper

GAI Waterhouse could add to her six Golden Slippers next year with bargain buy Setsuna being aimed toward the country’s biggest juvenile race after the flying filly scored a tearaway win in the opening race on Cup Day.

Waterhouse holds the record for Slipper wins, along with her late father Tommy Smith, and she and her training partnership Adrian Bott are confident Setsuna can measure up.

The daughter of Choisir, who was sold at the Sydney Inglis Classic Sales to Darby Bloodstock for $55,000 in February, started at $8 on Tuesday. She led from start to finish to score by a 1½ lengths from Roobeena ($10) with Aristocratic Miss ($14) in third place.

Favourite Qafila was one of the hardluck stories, getting back and running on late.

“I think she’s proven herself well and truly this preparation — she’s done enough, we’ll look after her now,” Adrian Bott said. “She’ll have a good spell in the paddock and we’ll bring her back in the autumn for a Golden Slipper campaign.”

Setsuna could easily be undefeated, having won the Inglis Banner on Cox Plate day, and being desperately unlucky in the Gimcrack in late September.

“She was brilliant today, I think that was one of her best performances that we’ve seen,” he said. “She broke cleanly and was very professional so she’s starting to put it all together, showed that natural speed and gave a good kick and gave nothing else a chance to get into the race.